Wednesday, June 13, 2007

She stands

The old oak stands at the back of our property.

Our deed from 1843 describes this piece of land in "poles", measured from the trees that mark its boundaries, hickories, ash, elm --and oak. Much of the land that had most likely been cleared for farming has regrown. The old oak, now growing amidst a forest of younger oaks, fanning out to the smallest, tender trees.

She is now more than 14 feet in circumference. An almost 2-century-old Pin Oak. Her massive arms, larger than many of the trees around her. She stands --straight, strong and tall.

She has seen many changes in this land. A house has been built, and a barn for a small dairy. The pasture lines have been drawn and redrawn--rusty remnants still tangling in the undergrowth. The hundred acres, divided. The residents, now names on markers in the nearby cemetery.
And still, she stands.

We've put a bench beneath her arms--a place to sit and think.
A place to feel small.
A place to feel safe.
A place to feel her strength.

Yesterday, I found a feather beneath the old oak. A feather from the barred owl.

Some day, to sit beneath this owl above...

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possumlady said...

Beautiful, Nina. I love old trees. My yard had some big ones at some point but they were felled years ago. I now just have mature dogwoods and black cherry trees, nothing as large and dramatic as your oak. I also talk to my trees. Do you?

Lynne said...

Nina, that is lovely. What a wonderful tree. The older I get, the more I realize that it is not a bad thing to feel small.

Mary said...

Pin Oaks are my favorite trees. I know the feeling of sitting under a very old, large tree. You described it very well. I agree with Lynne - sometimes we need to feel small.

Q said...

Dear Nina,
A beautiful tree! WOW.
I too understand the need to sit under an old tree. Yours is comforting. Thank you.
I shall go sit under my Oak tree and dream a bit.
Owl feather... nice.

KGMom said...

So wonderful to have such a wise old tree--to go to for shade, comfort, protection.
Long may it stand.

Cathy said...

I know one tree as old as this. I'd have to drive miles to be near it. What a lovely thing to have a bench and owls sifting mystery and feathers down through the branches.

Susan Gets Native said...

What that tree has seen!
You have a deed from 1843????

Dorothy said...

Nina, I know so well that feeling of being disconnected. I think the solution is to be retired. :o)
Lovely old tree, lovely post!
I hope someone helps you to solve the mysterious tracks leading to your pond.