Bok Tower Garden, Lake Wales, Florida
Beauty is found in so many people around us as well as in our surroundings, from a sunrise to a sunset… I delight in the sight of elegant flowers all dressed up in their finest colorful gowns as if they have been invited to a royal ball, and the majestic trees that align the roads or gather in a forest as ready to escort them to the ball. I have loved trees since I was a child and didn’t even know it, until recently. I have been living this adventure called life for a while and have gained some wisdom and experience from it. But I recently noticed that I was living life too rushed, always eager for the next step in my life, I needed to slow down. Live one day at a time and enjoy the simple things in life, the beauty around me. So, I started to notice and think more about the trees I see every day.
Memories of trees
I remember as a little girl traveling in the car with my parents and brothers, I would see all the trees aligned on the side of the road. As the car moved, the trees moved as well. The faster the car, the faster the trees… I would tell my mom and dad that the trees were running beside us. We would talk about who is winning, if the trees are running forward or backwards. I really admired how trees could move, until of course I figured out or was explained by my parents (I can’t really remember), that trees do not move. They are in the same place; the car is the only one moving. Oh, the innocence of a child and at the same time the curiosity that leads to simply enjoying the moment.
One of the best memories from when I was younger has to do with trees. We would have many family trips together when we lived in Puerto Rico, usually to the beach, but these were planned and I knew ahead since my mom was cooking delicious meals to take on our beach trip. Any other time, mom and dad would come by while we were at home and say, “ok, kids let’s go for a ride”. “But where are we going?” we would ask. No specific response from my parents just that we are going for a ride. So we piled up the car with frowns on our faces. I remember not being happy with that type of trip because it did not lead to a specific place. I wanted to know where we were going. Well, as the siblings in the back decided who takes what seat, I got the window seat, we headed out around the curvy road leading to nowhere. After some minutes of driving my mom would point out a mango tree…suddenly my heavy heart would not feel so heavy, and a smile would peak through my lips. My mom is the best mango tree spotter. She would see the tree bearing so many delicious mangoes, many of the ripe mangoes already on the floor. My dad knew the cue… mom says mango tree, that means stop the car! We all leave the car excited to fetch the delicious fruit. Remember, these are curvy roads and no parking area, but still we manage to stay safe. I’m excited because I love mangoes, and my brothers are thrilled because they get to throw rocks to try to get the fruits down. We pick the good ripe fruit that has not been enjoyed by birds yet, and my dad and brothers shake the branches, throw stones and try to climb in order to get more juicy mangoes. After a bag full of mangoes and a happy heart we gather in the car to continue our trip. We wipe off the mangoes (how can this be possible, since today we wash so well our fruits??), and bite into the juiciest mango, peeled off the skin and sucked on it. Fruit trees are some of my favorite.
Benefits of trees
I was researching some benefits of trees and found so many benefits, including:
- Clean the air
- Provide oxygen
- Cool the streets and city
- Conserve energy and save water
- Provides food
- Provides wood
- Reduce violence
- They are teachers and playmates
- Bring people together
I think we can all add more benefits. I would add work. It provides work for us. The builder uses the wood from trees, and we all have worked raking leaves. One of the most important benefits for me is that it provided the place for Jesus to lay down when he was born in a manger and the cross when he laid his life to save us. Trees GIVE so much to us. Let’s be thankful for trees.
Enjoying the moment
I enjoy the calmness and cool feeling while looking at trees. My eyes see in a different way when I encounter trees. I delight taking pictures of trees while traveling. The beauty of the hanging moss and fruit, the details of their trunk and branches, the color of the leaves, especially during fall season, and the way they align to create a bridge of shade for a road. I’ve seen these in Savannah, Georgia. I love taking a picture of the tree, a photo shoot with a tree, reading a book under a tree, having a family picnic under its shade, or simply meditating and thinking about the similarities with people.
I am thankful for taking a recess from my buy life to contemplate trees. They give so much just standing in one place. Imagine how much more we can give and provide when God has given us the ability to move, think, and speak. Tall, Rich, Elegant and Enchanting is the way I can summarize a TREE. Grab your camera or a good book and head out to find your tree, maybe I’ll see you there. Trees are part of my healthy collage.