This morning, standing by the kitchen window looking across the driveway to the sweeping branches of the horse chestnut I am thinking about how each season it is its’ own kind of beauty. In the spring it is full of cone shaped large flowers that buzz with bees, you can literally hear them when you stand in the front yard and the fragrance, well, that explains the bees! Birds of course nest there a plenty, squirrels race up and down the maze of branches. I have lain beneath on its knotted roots and taken photos up through the sky, the abstraction of curving branches, prickly cased chestnuts and layers of leaf.
A mama bear and two black cubs barely made a mark hiding in its low reaches when we surprised them in the yard giving us time to change our path! Now of course it is beginning its blaze of fall glory, yellow sun bursts of leaves that are much broader than my hands span will make way to an orange blanket by halloween.
Their crunch under foot and roll in the wind will add to the creepiness of a night walk and they will bunch up beneath jack, the pumpkin king, at the base of the old well. In winter it cradles snow and paints a lacy image in the sky. Last year, or maybe the one before an adult moose stood beneath sinking in the snow and as the ground dips leaning down to the bank it wasn’t until the next day when I stood in her tracks I could see how enormous she really was as the branch the wisped about her bowed back was above my head!
Aging in people is not quite like that with trees, we do not revisit our youth when the days grow longer annually, but like us, trees carry scars and marks of time passing. They have great big arms to hold memories, and a capacity to offer shelter and strength to lift climbing children and middle aged ladies. One isn’t to have favorites with living things, but i really do like my giant chestnut tree, maybe it is a touch of compensation adornments hang elsewhere.