February 10, 2015

The Scent of Trees

Trees have a special interest in my heart, and I have always loved to walk among them, standing in their leafy shade. They have such unique and personal traits that no two trees can ever be the same. But what is the scent of trees?

A tree is like a person, with leafy hair cascading down their backs. The proud stand straight and tall like gentlemen, but the meek ladies bend gently in the wind, and those who are worn with age become gnarled and crooked. I wonder what their faces would be like, if you could see through their stylish bark.  Would she have pretty eyes as they look out upon the world, or would his eyes be closed, trying to blot out the memory of the present and look only back into the past?

Have you ever listened to a tree?  They are so merry and joyful when they rustle in the breeze.  With gentle murmurs and whispers they call to each other in a language all their own. But at times they shriek with anger, bowing and leaning, sparring with their neighbors.

A tree can be so textured that each has its own feel.  The elevated Aspen are powdered to hide their spots; the vain trees must cover all their blemishes, but are easily revealed.  The Pine Tree and its numbers spread vast across the land, but I wonder if they are woefully sad. Their sap runs down their rough bark, and maybe they are crying for a lost memory, or perhaps they're tears of joy.

What does a tree taste like?  The leaves are crisp and moist, probably with a sharp, tangy flavor that fill the entire senses with that overwhelming flood. Do they taste like the dirt in which they live?  And what of the bark?  Maybe it is crunchy, brittle, and terribly hard, or perhaps it is sweet, tender, and fleshy. But who would ever eat a tree?

With all the characteristics of these gentle giants, what more is there to say?  They live patiently in the suburbs waiting for a still, quiet peace to reign in the streets.  Others dance in the mountains, enjoying the freedom of fresh, undisturbed air.  Some, are tiny, baby saplings, sinking their roots into the dry soil, groping for water, groping for life.

But what indeed, is the scent of a tree?  Of course, a tree has its own perfume, much like her dress and touch, but what can a tree truly smell like?  I suppose it must be the smell of wisdom, age old creatures living upright in the world.  They gain knowledge, day after day, some are as old as the hills.  Think of an old book; surely, the wisdom of that recycled tree has passed on into legend and history, shedding the scent of understanding. Perhaps, that is the scent of a tree; the smell of wisdom.

"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."
~ Joyce Kilmer

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