The Golden Seed Grove Of Lemuria
"If I were a tree...
Turning off the highway down the country road at mile marker 167 I gather in the view, soaking in that rush of familiarity that I experience. There are cattle grazing to the right – Peases’s black cattle – with cows and their spring calves. The grass is still green not yet browned by summer heat.
Cornfields are to the left, rustling in the breeze; with the window down you hear the sound of corn rubbing against corn. One mile and the county roads intersect. I keep going, listening to the red-winged blackbirds, meadowlarks, thrushes and robins as they sing from the ditch and the meadow.
I reach the mailbox, big and sturdy as it waits for the mail. This is not the plastic, tiny box of the city dweller. A weekend’s worth of mail can fit in here. I leave the road as it curves to the South and travel through the gate onto the narrow dirt road that will take me the ˝ mile up to the house
There on the edge of a shelterbelt planted with cedars stands an impressive cottonwood. It kisses the sky at 60 feet, with a trunk that is 24 feet around and a canopy of 40 feet. It is magnificent. It lives on a bend of Drycreek whose water has fed it for 150 years.
It has provided shade for picnics and cattle escaping the sun and been a home for generations of birds, squirrels and insects. Ten years ago lightning sent a gash down it’s trunk. It stands but the split widens and its strength and health are compromised. My Dad wrapped a huge log chain around it to stave off the inevitable.
Dad wonders if he should take it down because when it goes, depending on the direction, it could take out power lines to the house, fences in 3 directions, a lot of cedar trees and perhaps a few cattle bunching in protection from the weather.
But he hesitates. Trees are a blessing and this tree has a deep heart. Cutting it down would be like felling a friend. So it stands making it though another winter of ice and snow. But it is the lightning and thunderstorms of summer that are likely to bring down this cottonwood giant.
The groves of cottonwood and the solitary sentinel beside water are my favorite trees. Their deep dark glossy leaves, their rough ridged bark and the seeds flying though the air in their bundles of fluff.
If I were a tree I would be a cottonwood: deep, glossy and strong with a bit of fluff.