Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Did That Tree Just Wink At Me?

I spotted a tree eating a trail blaze on our hike the other day and it made me laugh out loud. I know it’s silly, but the incongruity tickled me. Thinking about it now makes me giggle.

I wonder why that image captivated me so.

Maybe the stunningly clear air has gone to my head. Have you noticed the brilliant blue skies lately? They are among the most visible positive consequences of “stay-at-home.” Maybe this extraordinary throwback to pollution-lite times is making me delightfully delirious.

In any case, now that I’ve noticed my anthropomorphized tree friend doing slapstick, I’m compelled to pay more attention to him.

I wonder, for example, if he’s upset with whoever invaded his territory and tattooed the blaze on him to begin with. I mean, I’m sure they didn’t ask.

On the other hand, I wonder if he’s been lonesome and would like some attention. Maybe not enough folks take the time to visit. It must be exasperating to have so much to give — shade on a hot day, shelter from the rain — when people are too busy and distracted to stop by for a spell, to be present and attentive. Has one too many hiker walked by with unseeing eyes, without so much as a passing glance?

Or maybe nature plays all kinds of games when we’re not looking. Perhaps there’s more whimsy in the woods than we realize. If only we’d spend less time taking the planet for granted, maybe we’d be invited to that party, too.

I do wonder.

Mostly, though, I think his little prank is simply a poignant reminder to pay attention. How much richer life is when we consider it from others’ perspectives.

One thing is for sure: My whimsical tree and his friends definitely share a sense of humor. How do I know? I saw his buddy devouring another blaze about a half-mile later.

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