Tree of Love
Baby Dear,” Momma said, “I can’t be around with
you always, but I want you to remember that no matter
where you go or what you do, I want you to always
be able to look out and see the trees.”
At first I didn’t know what she was talking about—some
of her homespun folklore, I supposed.
But I listened because, after all, this was
“I want you to go out and walk among the trees. Go to the park, the woods, wherever they are.
I want you to find one that appeals to you,
and then I want you to give it a big hug. Now, I know what you’re thinking, even though
you ain’t saying nothing.
I raised you so you wouldn’t talk back to
me or sass me.”
“But, Momma,” I tried to interrupt.
“Listen, Baby Dear, I know you worry about people seeing
you hugging trees and thinking you’re crazy or something. If they look at you strange, you go right ahead
and hug that tree anyway.”
I was beginning to worry about Momma.
“I’m telling you that, no matter how far you climb
to the top of the tallest building, you got to be
able to come back down and plant your feet on the
ground, on the grass, on the dirt. We are a part of nature. Trees are God’s gift to us human beings. Sometimes we act foolish and forget how precious
life is. A
tree is a living thing.”
Momma was preaching now, so I listened all the more.
I said, “Momma, I love you,” and kissed her
Momma’s story. Behold
the beauty of a tree.
Feel how firm and tough it is.
Shake hands with the branches.
Kiss the leaves. Don’t be embarrassed. Trees have seen it all. They were here before we were. And if they ever disappear from the face of
the earth, what hope or belief will humankind have
then? The tree won’t reject your love. My momma, your grandmother, used to say, “The
tree of love gives shade to all.”