Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on September 20, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet

Fallen warrior


“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.

Trees- Joyce Kilmer

I received a message a week or so ago from my brother. It was sad news, tragic, actually. He was calling to let me know about the death of an old friend. This was a dear friend who brought a lot of joy and comfort to many of us in our youth. This friend was sturdy, upstanding and graceful. He was with us through thick and thin, good weather and bad. We thought that he was ageless. That is, until someone took a chainsaw to him.

I’m not sure of the age of the magnificent chestnut tree that graced the grounds of the former CJFX radio station but many of us think it has been around for over 100 years.

If only that tree could talk.

Do you remember climbing trees in your youth? Of course, you do because that was a common form of play decades ago when one had to make their own fun. Learning how to climb a tree was a rite of passage. We climbed apple trees to pick off the fruit. Some of these apples were akin to the “nectar of the gods” while others were sour and tart and induced stomach aches. We climbed spruce trees and arrived back home with spruce gum on our hands and the wonderful smell of the outdoors. We saw partridges but none in pear trees!

Some of us had the good fortune to grow up near a forest. Just a few steps from our backyard, we could meander a few steps through a field and then enter a magical place filled with trees, dreams and adventures. We built forts and tree houses, imagining that we were early explorers. When we got tired, we simply lay down on a bed of moss. A peanut butter and jam sandwich tasted every bit as good as steak and lobster. Fresh air and the great outdoors made everything taste better.

Of course, you need trees to play a proper game of tag.

Later in life, these same woods, a mere handful of paces from our high school, provided a quiet place for budding romances and the first few drags of an illicit cigarette. If you needed time to yourself, there was plenty of space to go off on your own to ponder the mysteries of life. There were even small hills where one could go for a sleigh ride. For those foolish enough to dabble in teenage love, some wise scribe penned these profound words:

“John and Mary, sitting in a tree,


First comes love, then comes marriage,

Then comes baby in the bay carriage.”

And, yes, we climbed chestnut trees. We didn’t climb them to secure ripened chestnuts as these fell to the ground with their prickly overcoats. Once we extricated the smooth brown chestnuts, we made chestnut necklaces. Are these still in vogue? We climbed chestnut trees because they were massive and had large limbs, providing the perfect lookout.

The chestnut tree at the top of Kirk Street provided shade from sweltering summer sun and we often sat under it to ride out a thunder and lightning storm. In many ways, the tree felt like an older brother, a protector of sorts.

And now it is no more. It is one thing to lose trees in a hurricane (Thanks Fiona), but to have a healthy tree cut down is a head scratcher.

And very sad.

It takes so long for a tree to grow and such a short time to reduce it to sawdust.

They can remove the trees, but the memories will last forever.

Have a great weekend.

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