|A much younger Live Oak in Charleston, SC|
(Not THE Angle Oak in John's Island)
There are few things more innocent than trees,
more long suffering, more accepting, more resolute.
I've walked beneath the stately arms of Charleston's Angle Oak,
traced the steadfast strength of her lumbering limbs upon the ground,
my fingertips tingling along her ridges and grooves -
stoically strong as only a grandmother's can be.
She was once a sapling swaying in John's Island Ashley breeze,
surviving humidity, hurricanes, humans.
And yet, old age doesn't weaken
but magnifies her purpose.
Unfalteringly virtuous, possessed of unflinching strength
that sustains and nourishes.
I've been drawn to other trees -
a weeping willow's waterfall of branches
sheltering me as a youth tucked away
with a book and dreams;
a cedar tree's towering strength still stands
along the tree line of my childhood home,
craggy branches reach out, nymph like,
sparse wispy needles tickle sky's blue -
I gaze up a bit dizzy, still feel so very small;
a beloved tree, long gone,
our horses grazing beneath thick branches
as we dangled our scrappy limbs from above
enjoying a bird's eye view of surrounding fields.
Reminiscent of a (grand) mother, an aunt, a sister.
There's an intimacy, a healing, a grounding
that courses through my veins,
making them more than just memories.
by Margaret Bednar, January 18, 2018
This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman - The Tree Sisters"
A glimpse of Angle Oak: