Mr. Green Tree
It must have been nearly twenty years ago that I remember driving to work and noticing such a handsome tree in the middle of a barren plowed field.
I remember thinking how welcoming his shade would be for laborers escaping from the hot sun. I went as far as imagining the workers eating their lunches under the thick canopy of foliage where the breeze blew cool. I even imagined sitting with the workers in my business attire sharing bologna sandwiches and sipping cold tea.
The trunk seemed huge and the tree must have been at least 40 years old. I was thankful that he had been spared from removal, for farm machinery prefers straight lines without plowing around obstacles.
I wondered why I hadn’t noticed the tree before. The leaves were full and vibrant and seemed to scream, “Hey look at me. I am beautiful! I will give you oxygen to breathe.” It is necessary to keep ones eyes on the road while driving without being distracted. But nevertheless, I maintained visual contact with the leafy monument as I whizzed by for as long as possible.
As I arrived at work the comforting image of Mr. Green Tree rested in my brain. I had just joined Facebook and typed my experience into empty cyberspace.
The next morning I looked for Mr. Green Tree. He was gone. There were no logs, a stump, or any evidence that he had lived there for the past 40 years. Why did I just notice him the day before? What outside source had coaxed me to turn my head in his direction? In the past 40 years, did anyone besides me behold even a mere five seconds of his majesty as they zoomed along beside him?
Today, twenty years later, I can close my eyes and see Mr. Green Tree, who may have witnessed the first kiss of two lovers, or offered shade for a family picnic.
You may not see him as you speed along the 405 freeway but I know he is still there. His spirit continues to live in the middle of a strawberry field. This, in time, will become a concrete parking lot, which will change again into giant skyscrapers.
Since I belong to the human race I feel partly responsible for eliminating Mr. Green Tree. In my old age, perhaps he will be transformed into footstool that I will eventually use for nothing more than to prop my feet as I read a book about the decline of trees. We continuously destroy more trees than we plant. When we will understand we are not the wisest creatures in this world?