Saturday afternoon, three months after we carefully and unanimously selected her to bring her fresh, festive, pine-scented self into our cabin, we returned our sweet little Christmas tree to the woods from which we’d plucked her.
Owing both to her own fortitude and to our cabin’s low-set thermostat, she did not drop a single pine in all the days she stood there with her narrow arms full of ornaments.
The sun drew tree shadows on the snow and the high, icy river crackled and sang as it scored our proud march out to the woods. I carried her like a princess, planted her in the snow and said, “Look! All your friends are all saying hello.”
Meanwhile, all around us, tall trees shook themselves to life in the warmish spring breeze, small ones stretched high toward the light and I wanted to hug them all.
For the shade they provide and history they store in their trunks, for the carbon dioxide they absorb and the oxygen they release, for the nests they house and the roots they send deep into the soil, for the sound they make when they sway in warm summer breezes, and the silent optimism they offer every blessed spring, for their evergreens and fall golds, their apples, pears, figs, lemons, mangoes, cherries, oranges, peaches, plums, nuts, avocados, olives and all that delicious sap that runs this time of year, I salute them.
Isn’t it good, Northeastern Wisconsin wood?