Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tending is a kind of making

Last spring, my shade garden through a knothole. 

Tomorrow is the day I will reserve a tree through my city's annual tree-planting program.

Only $25 for a well-grown tree, to bring home in mid-May, when it is finally safe for young living things to go into the ground here. 

It is a naturally branchy creature, this Serviceberry--a multi-trunked bird magnet with pure white blossoms in spring, juicy dark berries in June and glowing, orange-wine leaves in autumn.

(An oasis for the spirit shall she be.)

This little tree will need to be adaptable to thrive in her spot between the underground utility lines and the overhead power lines. She will need to bear up against strong north winds in winter.

(Great expectations already are heaped upon her young shoulders.)

Some choose to prune and school this tanglewood into a neat, single-trunked tree. But not I. My Juneberry can branch as much as she likes.

Because my eye is ever searching for a heartful place to rest between the window and the sidewalk, and the yard and the street, and the parking lot beyond that.

(A sight that brings peace and sweetness. These days, I collect them.)

When the Serviceberry tree, also called Juneberry, begins to bear fruit, ah. These are the days of celebration! 

As the birds come and go, swooping to devour every last berry, I will smile. 

At that moment, I shall feel the best feeling. Like a child of the earth. A wildling mother. A midwife to beauty.

(I'm feeling it now.)


  1. what a lush garden! and congratulations on your juneberry (i love that name so much!). oh i am so jealous, too. when i was sixteen i discovered that if you joined the national arbor day foundation, they will give you 10 trees. at the time, membership was $10... i was thrilled and have planned on joining the absolute second i have a place to plant those 10 trees. well, 10 years later and i am still waiting for a place to plant them! soon, though, in a year i will buy my first membership... and it will be so wonderful to have that window companion. my in-law's former home had a japanese maple outside the kitchen window and i spoke to her (felt it was a her) every morning, had my breakfast with her in fact. it's going to be such a sweet treat for you! and yes, lovely of you to let her branch out wherever she wishes. let her dance!

    1. Maybe you'll get a place with so many beautiful trees already that you don't need to plant any...though the world can always use a few more if you can squeeze 'em in.


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