Maple, Dreaming

There lives this one tree to which I have bonded, this maple–outside the window over my desk, just beyond the green mailbox. It is deeply rooted in my life.

It stands for all the trees in all the world, an object lesson I can see, smell and taste: we make syrup in the early spring from its sap. Its constancy is reassuring in a world of change.

This always will not always be. The maple will remain–only for a time; I will move on before.

And so I made a point not long ago to pull up a chair at the edge of the dirt road and be in the cool quiet of its space for a settled hour.

This likeness, perhaps, some day, will bring me back to that shady spot, into maple dreaming.

Click here for larger image at Flickr.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Your words really spoke to me. I love being in the presence of trees and have a special tree I walk under every day on a greenbelt in front of our condos. The aliveness of trees is something I wish all of us humans were aware of and able to enjoy..