(continued from Nuala’s Tree and Concordia post)
Nuala’s Tree is a red maple (Acer rubrum) with four partly intertwining trunks rooted at the edge of a big old pine stump. I dedicated the tree to Nuala in 2009 or earlier. The oldest picture I have is from 2009, below.
The brighter background is because of the logging next door. It changes the habitat of Balsamea forever in several ways. I try not to think about it anymore.
Concordia is a park-like area of about 0.3 acre surrounding Nuala’s Tree. Almost all of the development of Concordia occurred in August-September 2019. Before that, there was just some minor maintenance to keep the tree from being overgrown by pines and balsam firs.
I don’t need to give special attention to a tree for it to have personal meaning, nor need I seek personal meaning in a tree. However, sometimes a tree seeks it in me, like a contemplative interaction probing the soul. That’s Nuala’s Tree.
You might enjoy this hour of David Brooks talking at the Commonwealth Club. His new book (among several) is The Second Mountain; The Joy of Giving Yourself Away.
Recording (an hour):
also available in a Commonwealth Club podcast
Brooks is a “moderate conservative” (he discusses this in the recording, saying he is really more of a 19th Century Whig) NY Times columnist, TV and radio pundit/commentator, book author, philosopher, and now director of a social movement called Weave: The Social Fabric Project with the Aspen Institute (weareweavers.org – you’ll like his 2-minute video on this page; find out about the project in the text under the menu bar items).
I’ve been a big fan of Brooks for many years. I once posted a comment on his Twitter page nominating him for Secretary of Reason in the next White House administration. (I don’t use Twitter anymore. Or Facebook.) But I guess it wouldn’t make sense for the government to have a Department of Reason.
They push the heart toward believing more about the world than it seems to want believed, something more believable — more real — when they sing about it, something we need them to sing about, to keep the spirit breathing, to strengthen faith and disarm disbelief.
11 minutes you’ll waste if you do anything but watch/listen to this:
“I used to hike a lot through the woods, and I’d always take this girl with me,” said Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, 1936, opposite Jean Arthur’s sneaky, conniving two-faced Mary. Enjoy the rest of Mr. Deeds’ romantic speech in this one-minute clip.
Alternate Link to this YouTube video.
“Pet trees,” he said.
Right then, in that touching moment, he made an imaginary girl become real, but neither of them knew it.
I’ve done it, and knew it. We had a good time. Then she went away and I got another imaginary girl.
Longfellow sounds like a Balsamean-kinda’ guy.
This post is for the laughter it gets in an office 26 miles from here. If anyone else enjoyed it, get the movie. It’s fun.
Going through some old folders, I found the original set of 2005 Moose Pond Moon photos in a surprise location. It included a scenery shot that I guess I had written off when the set was put where it belongs under photos/nature/moon. Turns out it was worth keeping.
[This post has only 706 words, chunks of it in music quotes, and a few minutes for one song performance.]
I don’t think it’s exquisite. It just has a way of holding my eye that doesn’t make sense. Maybe there’s something wrong with my eye.
When I remembered the moon in Harry Chapin’s song, Circle, I was glad to have him join the moon song hit parade with this salty-sweet sing-a–long.
This morning while washing hiking water bottles, one of our many wild turkeys enjoyed browsing the abundant wild food near the edge of the yard viewed from my kitchen window.
This is not an unusual sight here. Common, really. But not for me, and not for the turkeys, since they never get accustomed to being stalked by me. I am never common to them.
“You don’t have to fly or drive anywhere to see the beauty of nature-it’s all right there in your own yard!” -NHGS
NHGS started out as a gardening blog — by a garden and landscape professional, self-described now as, “Once a professional gardener, now a helper” — who now shares with us nature studies, photographs, descriptions and more, including personal reactions to nature as it occurs in New Hampshire habitats of the same kinds I have here in the Northern Adirondacks.
It is terrific nature writing, wonderfully illustrated, and I am grateful to be a subscriber.
It is a delightful source of education about things I see every day, written in a fresh, light, personalized style, loaded with information about the things explored, in all seasons. I’m introduced to things I did not realize I was seeing! I’m enlightened about the things I have seen and long appreciated. Continue reading
Trees get so much attention in this drifting journal, The Balsamean, because they are easier to write about than people are, and trees often make better friends than most people do, and the tree fairies would sprout leaves green with envy in the middle of winter if I gave as much time to humanity as to them.
This is another long post, about 3,000 words, but it has lots of pictures, one of my favorite poems (a famous classic), and a piece of original art by The Balsamean.
It took a year to write this. It’s not that I took a year to start it. I worked on it dozens of times beginning last September. The earlier versions were close to 6,000 words, and told too many stories that deserve articles of their own.
If not for too many long sentences, this would be an easy read. But my readers are sharp. And it’s especially readable if you just take a seat, slow down and act like the world moves at the speed it should, not the one it does.
Don’t read it in a hurry. It took a year to get here.