Monday, November 1, 2010

Bay Tree



On our tree walk Saturday we saw again a most remarkable tree, a bay laurel tree that is the second largest in all of bay laurels growing now in California. This one grows in the backyard of a most unassuming house on a most unassuming street in Sebastopol.

A story is associated with this particular tree.  I'll tell in this sonnet, below.



bay tree lived wild almost her whole life—
making shade, music, and medicine
for elk, coyote, raccoon, and Pomo,
years pass, city street, house, backyard fence
family moves in, dissolves, sells house with tree,

childcare provider buys house opens
daycare home—each noon young children wander
outdoors to have lunch, in her shade
deep now she’s the biggest bay for miles
children don’t notice a leaf flutters to earth

one friday—at noon—she drops a heavy
limb just exactly where children eat their lunch
she’s never dropped one before. the children
are away—did bay tree know this?

9 comments:

Paul C said...

The size and canopy of this tree is inspiring. I enjoy standing under large trees like this and just stopping to listen and feel. One senses a communion.

Sabio Lantz said...

Wow, impressive -- and a fine poem.
I am always amazed at the marks large trees bear to show the hard seasons they have been through and yet the move on.

Dan Gurney said...

Paul, I think dendrites (the our cells for thinking) resemble trees because ... trees are Gaia's dendrites. If we stop and listen, trees do share a lot of their wealth and generosity.

Dan Gurney said...

Sabio, thank you for the compliment. This tree bore the marks of injuries sustained by probably well meaning attempts to cable it together.

I visited your blog and found it most interesting, especially the Stephen Fry video on language. Language is alive and it's gonna wiggle, dance, and change.

Sabio Lantz said...

Hey Dan
Thanks for visiting.
I am primarily a skeptic, secondarily I am everything else -- including a very bad buddhist!

Ruth said...

It always make me stop and wonder how we can show a tree in a photograph. I try to do it. And I'm always disappointed. In the top photo you give us scale with the chair mini-fied next to that mighty bay.

There are definitely connections with trees, and I think they know a lot.

Dan Gurney said...

sabio, we're all buddhists, even the bugs. Maybe the best of us know how bad we really are!

Dan Gurney said...

Ruth, if tree's are Mother Earth's dendrites (as well they seems to be) then be golly we ought to be listening in, tuning in to what she can tell us through her leaves and branches and trunks, fruit, nuts, and roots.

Dan Gurney said...

by golly, that is.