Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Architecture of Trees

                  As I look out the window this February morning, it strikes me how bare the trees are, their bones so evident in the stark clarity of these winter days. The skeletal limbs sway in the wind, silhouetted against the gray sky. Their brittle branches tremble with every gust. The upper boughs fan out their tangled twigs reaching for the muted winter light; the lower reach downward as if yearning to reclaim the leaves that wafted to the earth like feathers some months now past. Tall oaks, like giant sentinels, stand firm beside the spreading maples, while the gnarly ash is blighted by splotches of lichen. Nearby, denying the blandness of winter, the white birch swoops and bends its supple limbs to the pulse of the wind. Yet even now, in these last five weeks of the season, the buds begin to form, tiny pods of hope that bask in the sunlight of these longer days. They will soon burst forth in an exuberance of new growth, new leaves, new branches, new life, and we, along with the trees in their new attire, will welcome the spring once again.