If I could be a tree
I would a willow be
To wave at all I see
And shelter those with me.
Or perhaps I’d be an oak
To dangle tire and rope.
In kid-laughter I’d soak
And wear an autumn cloak.
But oh a birch to be
In ruffled finery
Graceful limbs so free
A merry dance of three.
We personify trees all the time. At least I do…seeing them as beautiful people with personality and history. But couldn’t we tree-ify ourselves? Is that a word? If not, let’s make it one! I like imagining which type of tree I’d like to be and why.
The problem is that I’m hard pressed to land on any one type of tree for long. A month ago I wanted to be an evergreen, tall and enduring through winter’s blast. Last week I wanted to be a cherry tree with explosive fireworks of blossom and color. Yesterday an oak, today a fanciful birch.
These birch trees are fascinating to me. I’m fairly certain that we have River Birches growing in our neighborhood. It puzzled me this week to notice that all of them, with only one exception, had three trunks growing out of one. The exception had two trunks. With a bit of research, I discovered that this is how they are planted…three risomes together in order to keep the height of the tree down a bit. Apparently, left to grow individually, they grow way too tall. Clumping them together, or allowing two other suckers to grow along with the main trunk, helps keep their height under control. But I digress…
Whatever the reason, they look to me like three sisters, or three friends dressed for a party, dancing or laughing together. Their happy coexistence reminds me of the Trinity, of strength in a cord of three strands, of a perfect prime, and the number of children I have.
And how about you? What tree would YOU like to be if you could be a tree? And why is that? I’d love to hear from you and what your tree-ification might be? Well, for today at least!😉💕
P.S. I seem to draw imaginary trees a good bit…like the Yarn Trees and this Steam Tree. It happened as I gazed at my morning coffee and could see the steam rising and curling out of the mug…which got me to thinkin’ that it surely must grow from the bottom, where it is “watered”, or “coffee-ed” and…well, anyway…it’s fun to think about.😃
15 thoughts on “If I Could Be A Tree”
I would be a Scarlet Maple. Strong and sturdy and just waiting for autumn when my leaves turn orange and then drop the curls to the ground.
Lovely!!! I can totally see it! Thanks for answering here!
What I meant to say was a Sugar Maple but red would be ok too
Yes…yellow, red or orange…any of the Maples would be lovely!
So happy to see your posts once again.
Trees have always been special to me: different shapes of trees, branches, barks, the dapples light they give on grass and ground, even the sound they in wind. As I was thinking about my end of life, I found “The Living Urn” website. I knew it was for me. Then I got to choose the kind of tree I want my ashes to nurture. I chose the Maple because it offers shade in summer, brilliant colors in the fall, dramatic branch shapes in winter, and sweet maple nectar in spring. It makes me so happy that I found, for me, the perfect tree.
Wishing you all good things, Jennifer
Phyllis!! How good it is to hear from you! Blessings to you and yours in these uncertain times. I’m so glad you found your perfect tree as well! What a lovely way to continue “living” even after your body is gone. Love to you! -Jennifer
I love your wonderful creative stories that compliment your fun artwork. I think I would be a Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree, it’s tropical and so full of color and it makes you smile . To make people smile would be a great gift to return to others.
Wow!!! I have never seen this kind of tree but what a wonder it is! Thank you for sending that photo of it’s colorful trunk! Must paint one! And thanks for commenting here Sally!
Hey Jennifer, I don’t know if this will go through. Seems I have to do some investigating on what email address I used when I signed up for my WordPress Site.
When we lived in 10 acres of timber, I wanted to be any of the majestic hardwood trees that stood for centuries, back when my grandparents and other farmers harvested the trees for firewood. My favorite??? Not sure, but the white oak stood straight and tall, usually 100 feet before the first branch reached for the sky. But then there’s the hickory, the cherry, the black walnut… Oh, so many majestic trees.
Oh so many indeed! Sounds magical to live where these grand trees did! Thanks for your answer here and thank you also for the “challenge” you gave me…to ask a question. It has already kindled a wonderful conversation with blog readers! And yes, you had used the other email when you commented the last time. Hopefully now both will register. Have a great day Nancy!
Hi Jen, Love your drawings of trees! I should do more. Trees are just amazing! Here in the forest we’re surrounded by Ponderosa Pines – so tall & majestic they stand strong. Even though an evergreen, they take decorative design with each season. Heavily flocked with winters snows, looking ever so tall on foggy mornings, & a strong background for forest birds. We’ve added a few trees that brighten the Ponderosa in spring & fall, like cherry & pear with their spring flowers and aspen & maple for that fall color pop. So glad you highlighted trees ~ )))hugs(((
Hi Elaine! I’m glad we share a passion for trees and that you are enjoying sick a wonderful variety where you live! Stay safe and well please! And keep on making !
Lovely poem and words.
IF I COULD BE A TREE
(Ode to Cottonwood)
Barbara Salvatore© 2012
If I could be a tree
Be just that,
how would my existence be?
If I had to choose, between
shading the people or
reaching the water,
which would I?
If the river dried up,
would I drink sand?
What of my roots?
With shriveled roots I would lean,
or dry up,
So, as a tree,
how could I sway my weight,
to bring attention to my fate?
How could I reach
the help needed?
Do trees beg?
Do trees pray?
I would not lean over and fall.
I would stand strong.
I would pray for rain
with every branch and
leaf of my being.
I would reach to the sky
stir up the clouds
Rattle my leaves
Plead for rain with my very roots and fingers,
Oh I LOVE this! Whoever you are…thank you for sharing it! Lovely to know of other poems written with that same title! -Jennifer