Tree Thought Essay, Research Paper
On a winding hillside along Birch Lake, various trees and organic landscapes hide my sacred place. It is located in the backyard of my grandparents’ house. To the average outsider, it is just another pine tree growing among piles of leaves and pine needles that blanket a grassy hill leading down to the lake. In my world, it was a place where I could lie at an acute angle and visit a tree I gave life to.
I still remember the smell of the freshly baked bread my grandmother made that morning. I was only six years old, but when a fresh loaf of bread came out of the oven, I had the appetite of an adult. After stuffing ourselves, Grandma and I made our way to the shed in search of tools to plant a tree. As we searched for a shovel, fumes from the leaky gas tank of the lawnmower kept us in high spirits. We eventually found a spade and looked for a place to dig.
The hill in the backyard was blocked off with a short fence. Dilapidated stairs led down to the beachfront. Grandma and I scaled the foot-high fence and sidestepped down the incline. About ten steps down, we found the perfect place for the tree. She gripped the ribbed, rubber handle of the shovel and began carving a hole into the fertile soil. I cradled the newborn tree, making sure he would be able to enjoy the new home we were making for him. The clouds were threatening as if they were predators preparing for an attack on their prey. The rolling thunder, snarling and growling, kept us working at a fast pace. My grandmother assured me that Spike?that’s what I named the tree?would be fine when the storm struck later that afternoon.
Once she finished digging the hole, we could have fit a soda can perfectly inside, but Spike fit much better. He seemed to like his new home. In time, mossy friends would keep him company, rain would nurture him, and dogs would soon make him their own. Grandma sent me back up the hill to grab the watering spout so we could feed Spike’s green needles the nutrients they needed to keep him alive and well. We were careful not to drown him, knowing that he would receive more water later that day. Just then, a cold drop of rain hit my neck; it sent a shiver down my spine. Grandma and I headed for shelter. Almost crashing into the short fence, I scampered up the hill on all fours. We tossed the tools back in the shed and ran into the house.
Throughout my childhood, I would visit Spike as often as I visited my grandparents. I would sprawl out alongside him and attempt to arrange the many tangled thoughts in my head. Worried thoughts about upcoming exams and confused thoughts about girls were just a few of the things I pondered. Spike and his birch friends listened to my every word, or so I assured myself. I always left Birch Lake with a sense of comfort.
Although my visits now are few and far between, I still go back to the lake and visit Spike when I can. Spike and I have both grown quite a bit over the years, he more so than I. He barely came up to my knee the day we met, and today I need a ladder to touch his bristly head.