Describe yourself as a tree.
Trees. Oh, I love trees. A recent Bloganuary prompt asked about where I go to find solitude, and my mind brought forth images of a dense forest, with a babbling brook meandering beside me.
I remember attending a Quaker meeting with my ex-wife, back when we lived in Toronto, and one woman stood up with a poignant message that still echoes in my brain: “Trees! Where would we be without them?”
The symbiotic and reciprocal nature of our relationship with trees makes me sparkle with wonder. They provide us with so much good, it’s heartwarming. But to choose a specific tree to describe me? That’s tough.
I suppose it depends it on the day. When I feel waves of sadness, I imagine myself as a weeping willow (salix babylonica). On days when I feel vulnerable and raw, I crave the needly protection of an eastern white pine (pinus strobus). And when I’m feeling sweet, and in touch with my Canadian roots, I like to think of myself of a sugar maple (acer saccharum).
But since I’ve been living in Florida for the past 7.5 years, those trees aren’t as prominent. Instead, it’s the southern live oak (quercus virginiana). I think that’s my tree.
I’m not a nudist, so the fact that live oaks don’t drop their leaves in the winter makes sense for me. They’re long-living, with some famous ones reaching 1000 years old, and I at least strive to be alive for a long time. Live oaks are strong, and their large, winding limbs are full of character. That’s totally me, don’t you think? They’re big supporters of their surrounding environment, by providing shelter and shade, food (at least for animals), and flood prevention (a mature tree can soak up 50 gallons of water per day). That’s me again! I love helping others.
So, yeah. I’m good with being a live oak. I think, overall, it depicts me well.