A Turn for the Verse

“Founded upon a rock” or “cast upon stony soil”?

We took the furchildren for a walk in Rockwood Park the other day. Up a hill from the trail we were on, I noticed a cedar growing on a boulder.

Now if you know anything about cedars, you know they’re crazy cusses. They can live 500 years, clinging to cliff faces. Shriveled. Twisted. Stunted. Looking, except for a fattened base whose rings prove their senescence, no different than they were at the age of 10. To those who know or care, they inspire awe for their tenacity, but also pity or discomfiture for their grotesquerie.

They’ll never be anyone’s Christmas tree. They’re no good for lumber. They aren’t even noticeable next to the tall ones who landed on good ground.

Sometimes — not always, but sometimes — I wish I weren’t a cedar.

12 Responses to A Turn for the Verse

  1. eyegillian says:

    Cedars may not be tall or beautiful, but they are hardy and tenacious. They survive storms and forest fires, insects and drought, shelter rare lichens and mosses, and harbour many songbirds. Because their leaves are rich in Vitamin C, the cedar was named Arborvitae, “Tree of Life”. They don’t need rich fertile soil to thrive, but in a swamp or on a mountainside, or even tucked in the niche of a boulder, their roots are strong and dependable.

    As are you.

  2. Tony says:

    What an odd place to find a tree growing, amazing.
    senescence, discomfiture???
    Looks like someone has just bought a new dictionary 🙂

  3. I love seeing plants growing in odd or difficult places. It sorta gives one hope, innit?

  4. Jayne says:

    Proving Mother Nature is a tenacious sucker who’ll cling on for dear life, no matter how much crap we throw at her.

  5. Shelley says:

    I can tell you Turtle doesn’t need a dictionary, these words roll off her tongue (or fingers) with ease 🙂

    Just like the cedar if you look below the window dressing there are many valuable uses for cedar – cedar closets, cedar chests, cedar posts and rails, cedar shakes and just the cedar scent of burning firewood.

    And there are so many talents that you posess – and if anyone knows and understands people having the ability to sell yourself short, its me. I would love to have a drop of your artistic, linguistic or homemaking talents!

  6. lavenderbay says:

    Of course you realize, love, that the only thing my teflon brain will retain from your tribute is the fact that I’m full of vitamin C. 😀

    Yes, Tony, even though I was feeling down, I was quite pleased with the writing of this entry. I googled “old age synonym” to find “senescence”, a word I do know, but menopause keeps pushing the Pause button on my mental vocab retrieval… To me, finding the right word is like finding a new colour in my pencil crayon box.

    But do you ever find, S. Le, that hope for another is easier to come by than hope for oneself? 😉 But yeah, I love seeing the unusual, too. A religion prof (a rabbi) from my undergrad days told us once that “miracle” simply means “surprise”. And that’s a beautiful thought, innit?

    And is “Nature” your middle name, Jayne, or are you like my dad who went by “Murray” even though his first name was “Thomas”? If I were in your shoes, I’m sure I would have slipped out of the house one morning with my bookbag and a one-way tram ticket to Karratha. You’re nothing short of amazing.

    What are cedar shakes, Shelley? Is that when an arborvitae has guzzled too much aqua vitae? (Just kidding; they’re a popular cladding around here.) Thanks so much for your kind words, you who have seen me in action. You must know, too, that my prime motivator for doing anything is love, and that money is just an afterthought. Holy crap!!! I just had a weird thought: What if there’s people out there who are jealous of me?

  7. Jayne says:

    LOL Lavender, if the tram whipped by Karratha still I’d be hanging on for dear life like the cedar!

  8. lavenderbay says:

    Somehow I suspected it, Jayne. 😉

  9. ’tis a beautiful thought, yes! It’s brilliant when we go to gorges or cliffs and the tree’s roots grow through the cliff face or the entire tree grows out of the rock face. It’s amazing to me. Nope. I find things like this give ME hope and lift my spirits.

  10. lavenderbay says:

    Guess I need to work on my self-esteem a little more, S.Le. Friends with positive attitudes help. I’m keeping you!

  11. Hmm, I think the bases have been covered here. I’ll just add: Rockwood looks to be a good name for this park!

  12. lavenderbay says:

    I hadn’t actually parsed the name before, Barefootheart, but now that you mention it…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: