The first time I met that little guy was probably the summer of 2004. We were weeding in the shady flower beds in front of the house. And there was a weed that Jif was about to pull. Until I stopped him.
“Hey! Don’t pull that. It’s not a weed.”
“It’s not? What would you call it?”
“It’s a tree.”
“It’s four inches tall.”
“You gotta start somewhere. It’s trying to be a tree.”
“It’s not going to get very far. It gets no sunlight here, and it’s way too close to that other tree.”
“Well, just leave it; let’s see what happens.”
So we did. And it grew. It was not invited, not part of the plan, and apparently unrelated to any other tree in the yard. No family here. But it has shown itself to be some sort of tough little evergreen. It doesn’t grow fast. But it stands straight and stays alive. And grows a little. Against all odds. It literally grows in the shadow of the other trees in the front yard. The other day as LG and I were leaving the house, I happened to look its way. And its image at that moment captured so perfectly the way I think of it, persevering “in the shadow” of the bigger, landscape-designed trees, that I took its picture right then and there. Because I had my camera with me. And I really did not have anything to say about it at that time. But then I saw Eclectic talking about trees, and I wanted to talk about mine.
I call it the “accidental Christmas tree.” Some day, it will grow too big to do well where it is. But by that time it will have earned the right to be moved to its very own spot, a place of honor in the yard. Some day, it will be big enough and strong enough to put ornaments on it, or even lights! Some day I want to decorate it, to help it celebrate that it came of its own accord, and it stayed, and it survived and thrived. I love that little guy.