'Ye are all the fruit of one tree and the leaves of one branch.'
~ (Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative)
IT TOOK ME TWO YEARS OF TRAVELLING by a small tree in my neighbourhood to notice her and to realize how desperately she needed my help.
During the summer months the Birch would flick her little leaves at me in an attempt to get my attention. I was too busy making my way south on Dogwood Street in Campbell River, British Columbia, to pay proper attention. In October, she stopped calling out to me. All of her leaves had fallen to the ground and the only ornament on her during the winter months was a plastic cup stuck forcibly on one of her outstretched branches and the odd covering of snow. I glanced up at her a few times, but didn’t feel it was my business to remove the unflattering adornment.
My travels took me past her several times a week by foot and by vehicle. I glanced her way every once and a while but I felt no connection to her. My absent-minded attitude toward the Birch tree carried on through the spring while she did her best to blossom bright green leaves. Her absence of energy was a direct result of being bullied by yellow broom as it encroached upon her and the greedy water-guzzling short and long grasses at her roots.
Finally, after several seasons of doing her best to survive, I noticed that the Birch was also being chocked by discarded crumpled chip bags, sipping straws, cardboard pizza boxes and a notorious number of cigarette butts. It was the rubbish that caught my attention.
I moved closer to the tree, working diligently at removing the trash with my garbage tongs and noticed that she was more beautiful than I had imagined. Her bright white bark was as familiar as that of the Paper Birch, a native of North America and the official tree of Saskatchewan, or that of a European White Birch. The poor thing had obviously survived a life of adversity. Although I have never trained as an arborist, I knew she was in need of water because of her shallow roots. Most of all, she could certainly use a friend, a protector and some company.
I’ve been looking for the property manager, to ask if I can adopt her and tend to her needs. I am waiting patiently for a reply.
I’ve named her Bonnie The Birch.
8:14 p.m. update: The property manager has given me permission to adopt Bonnie. I'm blessed.
|Bonnie the Birch|
|My Adopt-a-Tree Target|