A Tree Grows in (Hobbs) Brooklyn
A tree apparently marked for removal outside our classroom at the high school.
Most of us have taken biology and realize trees add a growth ring every year, so when sawed down one may count the rings to see how old the tree is. Some trees grow quickly and have soft wood. Some grow slowly and are sturdier. Rainy seasons are revealed through thicker rings. Sparse seasons of drought by thin rings of struggle. Soon one may peer down at this stump and estimate how long this magnificent one has poured a shady sanctuary over this campus spot.
One can only imagine the teens and teachers, parents and visitors that strolled, walked, paused below its welcoming shade in summer or stared at its stark branches in winter. The happiness, sorrow, pride, anger, fear, joy it witnessed in its anthropomorphic stead. The squirrels and birds that scampered or nested in its branches. The leaves released each fall for maintenance workers to rake and janitors to sweep from the nearby sidewalks.
Little fanfare will mark its demise. It sprouted from a tiny seed not much larger than the biblical mustard seed compared to man’s faith. It grew, weathered the ages, and eventually revealed the infirmities of age and disease that left it marked with its red X.
Just another reminder of the temporality of life. Its lived a long time in our imagination. Scant time in the llano’s scheme of things.
One might pause and note its presence before it is only seen in former campus pictures or a brief remembrances to those who leaned against its bark to study or chanced to kiss beneath its leafy arbor. Pause and note the trials, tribulations and moments of splendor that, like this tree, will soon be only past whisperings.