We have reached that time of year when certain traditions adorn a pine tree. Shining ornaments, strands of garland, silver tinsel – all entwined amid the lights twinkling. City centers search for the largest that might touch the sky. Invitation their mission to draw visitors in with the spectacular sights. Store fronts join in suit enticing customers with their displays. Perhaps a customer will believe an exact replica for home is needed right away.
Some decorate a tree that never needs watering. Artificial the preference for longevity and ease. Such trees can be decorated weeks – and weeks – before without worry the tree will start to disintegrate. Once the tree has finished modeling for its fans, back into a box until next year its fate.
Other trees are cut down at the base, planted for the purpose they will bring holiday joy to a family “someday”. They grow from tiny saplings over several years until it is their time to shine. As they grow, they fulfill other reasons they are alive. They are shelter for winged friends and an umbrella for rabbits when it rains or snows. They fulfill an artist’s imagination in what can be created with pine cones. They continue to rise higher as they stretch their arms as wide as they can reach. They want to be “perfect” when a family whispers come home with me.
And then there are the trees that won’t be lavishly dressed for others to see. They will quietly stand where they are planted without a blink. The light they may radiate will be in tandem with the stars above as the night shines. It might even be in collaboration with the snow if the flakes nestle on the pine branches just right. The tree ornaments might be the neighboring cotton tree as the seeds unfolded their treasures they kept inside. The garland might be the maple leaves that have fallen as they dried. Still a shelter, still reaching tall and wide as its arms will reach. The difference for these kinds of trees is that they are “just” meant to be.
A simple tree without flair yet extraordinary. When the world around it is brown for the winter, this tree shines its beautiful greenery. It hasn’t had others tend to it like the holiday trees. No pruning, no trimming, no planted together for belonging. It has endured the changing of seasons with determination and bravery. Extreme cold and extreme hot don’t impede it growing several feet.
No tree is any less or any more, whether person made or Mother Nature’s bounty. An artificial tree brings happiness just as much as a “real” tree. To the ones decorating or admiring it, love is the key. My only ask is to pause and notice there are ordinary trees that stand in the wings unassuming.
Shhh, look, see, quite grand and beautiful in its simplicity don’t you think?