Despite my humble beginnings on the wrong side of the river, I became a skeptical and proud pre-teen.
Attending Sunday mass was becoming such a tiring waste of good sleeping time. Then there was the weekly grade 6 catechism group held after school in a classroom in one of the buildings across town. I did not know many of the other kids who attended. I was shy or proud and don’t recall trying to form friendships with them.
I remember one assignment which was to memorize a piece of scripture and gasp! recite in front of the class. I convinced the group leader that I could recite Ode to a Tree because it had the word God in it. He acquiesced.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
As corny and ridiculed it became, I still like that poem. It justified, it reinforced my love of trees.
How about you? Do you like that poem? Do you also have a favourite tree?
As I aged and grew jaded, I came up with a few of my own poems about trees.
Some spring day, while admiring trees,
let your innocent gaze to linger,
on pines waving in gentle breeze,
notice they are giving you the finger!