Trees and Birthdays

(Apologies to my Twitter and Roadtrippers readers for the loss of images  – just a temporary bug)

Joyce Kilmer once wrote a poem about trees ( I’ve posted it at the bottom of this blog) that has forever stayed in my mind all these years after reading the poem in my high school English class.  I’ve always had favorite trees that I’ve thought of from time to time.  Next door to our house in Mineola, old lady Konradson had an apple tree at the back corner I used to climb and spy on the neighborhood.  In Ronkonkoma on Brown’s Road was a beautiful maple that would change colors ever so slowly every fall and I would anticipate seeing that tree every day on my bus ride from school to my grandfather’s house.  As we drove through northern Texas and the landscape not only turned green but lush with trees, both Monica and I sought of let out our breath, as if we’ve been holding it in, while traveling across desert landscapes.  While we would not have traded this part of the trip for anything, we are definitely big tree and green grass people.


Sister Jessica and Niece Meena by John’s grave.

Birthdays are often a time of celebration for many marked with parties and cake, but today is our son John’s birthday.  He would have been 36 this year and has been a pivotal, influential  person in our lives despite his short life.  If he had been born with today’s medical advances, he would certainly have lived.  But he died so doctors could learn how to save young babies today.  His life served a supreme purpose, one that took Monica and I many years to accept and eventually understand.  At Mass today, the gospel was about the resurrection of Lazarus and I can’t tell you how many times during John’s short life we prayed for a similar miracle.  We just didn’t understand John’s purpose at the time; but with God’s help, we’ll live with John in heaven.

Everything here in Texarkana is green with spring’s rain and sunshine.  The air is clean and cool and the trees with brand new brighter than life green leaves.  Spring brings everyone new hope and our hope and wishes are for our children and (great) grandchildren, nieces and nephews we’ve met or have yet to meet, that this and every spring brings them good health, that their future holds great promise, and their years after we’ve all gone much happiness.

I think that I shall never see   
A poem lovely as a tree.   
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest   
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;   
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;   
A tree that may in summer wear   
A nest of robins in her hair;   
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;   
Who intimately lives with rain. 
Poems are made by fools like me,   
But only God can make a tree.

About bauernfeind

NYC Born 27 years USAF retired Major 21 years teaching/17 in a high school now retired
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