About Trees – Me, S and Z

Me, S and Z

I still love wrapping my arms around S and Z and their extended family

They were the first ones who whispered, so softly, I barely heard, “Please, hug me.”

I thought I heard, and didn’t mean to be rude or want this one to have ask again or beg,

And I first thought, well, I have quite an imagination, maybe it’s in my head

I was young when I first stretched my arms wide

my chest touching and my face, one side, turned against its bark on my cheek, and hugged first S and then Z,

As this tree spoke to me

It was old, wise, gnarly, climbable, strong but seemed melancholy

Branches reaching forever towards the sky higher than I could ever climb

It asked me, “Would you like to be my friend?”

I had no hesitation then,

A tree? Asking me?

Wow, I thought, how special I must be

Little realizing what an honor what a gift,

And so, began our story, our relationship history,

Of the majesty of trees that became known to me as King Solomon and Queen Zitheria (or S and Z)

In our tale of truth both sad and full of gales of glee

They were mates in the backyard of my grandma’s apartment building, see?

In Brooklyn where trees used to grow quite plentifully

As we all know about trees that grow in Brooklyn

Now at this time I was not quite ready to receive

All the wisdom S and Z wished to share with me

And for a time they and I were quite content

To have me sit on branches and dare to climb

But as years did both slowly drift and yet seem to fly

There were things they yearned to discuss which included why

Why me and what rich stories could they possibly tell

Before I lost my childhood nerve and from the grace of innocence fell

And so bit by bit they, S and Z, told me things about history

Their’s (almost a century) and the world’s and all of humankind

And of all the varieties of trees one could possibly find

They told me how they can communicate with sound

Send songs to their brother and sister trees underground

Anywhere in the world

Taught me to listen and be still

And to this day I can hear them if I will

Pay attention and be quiet and breathe

And learn of their wisdom as they feel joy and grief

They feel emotions and pangs of mother earth

As some devalue her and disregard her worth

They discussed with me how uncommon can be their strength

Even wept at great length

As in later years, we talked about the lone tree that survived that day of nine-eleven

How of all the loss of life and limb there was only one

A Callery Pear tree affectionately called the “Survivor Tree”

Found in October 2001 at Ground Zero severely hurt, with snapped roots, and burns, and scars, and broken branches,

One tree, that although wounded, was nursed back to health

A symbol of will, strength, courage, and hope, a wealth

Of determination to resist evil and to live for what is right and good

And S and Z made sure I clearly understood

How inhuman humans have been throughout eternity and continue still

And how it is up to each of us to undertake certain tasks to fulfill

To ensure that our history and wisdom doesn’t dwindle to less and less

That we must preserve as many trees, for they are the ones that possess

The specialness that spans time and evolution

And if we would learn to listen, we could find our solutions.

If we would listen to learn, we would hear the questions,

The questions we haven’t yet learned to ask

And to this day, when I hug a tree,

I hug my friends and feel inside

The voices of S and Z