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Monday, February 19, 2007

The Accidental Christmas Tree

accidental tree

The first time I met that little guy was probably the summer of 2004. We were weeding in the shady flower beds in front of the house. And there was a weed that Jif was about to pull. Until I stopped him.

"Hey! Don't pull that. It's not a weed."

"It's not? What would you call it?"

"It's a tree."

"It's four inches tall."

"You gotta start somewhere. It's trying to be a tree."

"It's not going to get very far. It gets no sunlight here, and it's way too close to that other tree."

"Well, just leave it; let's see what happens."

So we did. And it grew. It was not invited, not part of the plan, and apparently unrelated to any other tree in the yard. No family here. But it has shown itself to be some sort of tough little evergreen. It doesn't grow fast. But it stands straight and stays alive. And grows a little. Against all odds. It literally grows in the shadow of the other trees in the front yard. The other day as LG and I were leaving the house, I happened to look its way. And its image at that moment captured so perfectly the way I think of it, persevering "in the shadow" of the bigger, landscape-designed trees, that I took its picture right then and there. Because I had my camera with me. And I really did not have anything to say about it at that time. But then I saw Eclectic talking about trees, and I wanted to talk about mine.

I call it the "accidental Christmas tree." Some day, it will grow too big to do well where it is. But by that time it will have earned the right to be moved to its very own spot, a place of honor in the yard. Some day, it will be big enough and strong enough to put ornaments on it, or even lights! Some day I want to decorate it, to help it celebrate that it came of its own accord, and it stayed, and it survived and thrived. I love that little guy.

19 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger Squirl said...

I love this story of your Accidental Christmas Tree. Isn't there some line in an ancient text about a mustard seed???

Anonymous LadyBug said...

What a beautiful post, Susie. Thanks for sharing with us.

Blogger eclectic said...

Awww, that's a cute little tree -- I'm so glad Jif didn't pull it out!! Thanks for your tree-thoughts. I love them.


Yeah for the little trees, the humble trees - I love them, too. I spend most of my volunteer time planting trees, and the many pots of foot-tall trees always remind me of a bunch of happy babies. Thanks for this story and the photo, Susie. Made my day.

Blogger Nina said...

Wonderful things happen when there is life and then you add love!

That is a beautiful baby tree you have there.

Blogger Amy said...

Reminds me of Fern saving Wilbur in Charlotte's Web.

You are just a peach, Susie. And that is that.

Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Marvelous! I would love the little guy, too. Years ago I called them "volunteer trees" when they volunteered to grow in places where I didn't want a tree growing, like right beside my fence. I used to dig the little guys up and replant them where being a tree was OK with me.

Blogger Susie said...

squirl, I knew of two references in the Bible to mustard seeds. When I went searching for others, I found a lot, even some that were considered controversial. This is what I know about, copied from wikipedia:
"In the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a mustard seed. Although having some of the smallest seeds, the mustard plant grows to a large size, providing shelter for birds: Matthew 17:20. The story has been interpreted to mean that grand things can grow from tiny actions.

Inspired by this parable, aristocrat Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf founded the Order of the Mustard Seed in Germany in 1715. [2] The aims of the order were to be true to Christ, kind to all people and to spread news of the Gospel to the world."

ladybug, aw, thanks. It means a lot to me; I didn't know whether anyone else would get anything from it :)

eclectic, you're welcome. Thank you for the inspiration.

htgt, happy babies :) I'm happy it made your day.

nina, thank you. It is SO cold this winter; I hope he makes it through.

amy, I love that book. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and name a daughter Fern. Fern Fairchild wouldn't work, though ;)

ssnick, I like that, volunteer trees. How kind of them to just show up for us :)

Blogger The Narcissist said...

it’s like your very own, live Charlie Brown Christmas tree. now, that’s cool.

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Sing along!

So, oops this is Christmas.

Blogger Lynn said...

I love this story, Susie. It's a survivor story.

Anonymous kalki said...

I love this. And I love that you are the type of person who gives such a tree a chance.h

Blogger WILLIAM said...

You may not need to move it at all. It may grow and end up pushing hte other trees out of the way.

Blogger Karen said...

Oh, that is sweet. I'm so glad you gave that tree a chance to grow.

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Susie, that little tree is a testament to who you are as a person.

I love you.

Blogger Arlene said...

I love it! It's so cute, and something I can completely appreciate :-)

Anonymous platypus said...

CK's right - it's so you. I'm glad you gave the little thing a chance and it's beautiful.

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

I love the tenacity of nature. We had a wee tree at my childhood house as well that got to be very tall by the time we moved. I am sending your wee tree a big cheer for being so cute.

Blogger eclectic said...

Um, shall I email you?


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