Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Forest through the Trees

Trees.  I love them.  I love pretty much all shapes, sizes, colors, and types of trees.  I challenge you to find me one that I don't love.  (as I wrote that I know exactly what my husband is going to throw out there, because I tell him all the time that proper trees should be green, not blue or red...but I'm not asking him for input...just everyone else)  I love the forests of my childhood, the twisty tree that stands alone in the middle of a cornfield, the palm trees that line the road onto Tybee Island, even the scrubby pine next to our house. 

What made me think of this today, you ask?  Well, as I was driving across the farm fields to work, I remembered a conversation I had with a certain linguistics professor I had in college way back when about Northwest Ohio, and the lack of trees here.  I was lamenting it.  You see, I grew up where there are hills, trees, forests and forests of them.  The side of our heart-shaped state where I'm from is like a mini-New England.  On this side it is more like, well, like I imagine Kansas to be...flat, full of grain, and absent of forest.  I told my wise professor I didn't find it very attractive, and I couldn't wait to move back home.  She laughed at me and challenged me to find the beauty wherever I was.  At the tender (and very immature age of 22) I felt certain she was crazy and knew nothing.  How wrong I was. 

Ten years later I am now settled as a resident of the right atrium of our heart shaped state, you could say.  Where we live, you can see the sunrises and sunsets for miles.  As I drive into work, I can see the lights of my university's football stadium, about 10 miles to the east, rising over the fields.  You can spot towns from a distance, merely from their grain elevators well before you get there.  All for our lack of trees and hills.  Yet, I find beauty in their absence.  I'm hesitant to plant too many in our own yard, so we don't spoil the view.  Maybe I'm crazy like my former linguistics professor, or maybe I've just gained wisdom with age.  Who knows.  What I do know is that while I loved trees since I climbed my first one as a girl, I love them more now, when they're fewer and further between.

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