My father loved pine trees. He planted them everywhere he could. Every summer we would drive up north and toil to water his seedlings. There were well over 50 of them. I think they reminded him of the mountains where he grew up. As I got older I really began to appreciate how they could enliven the dreary winter landscape with their pop of color, and whispering fronds. Alas, a fire took his many decades ago, but I had one in my urban yard that served to honor the memory of what was.
I spent the better part of 2017 fussing over dozens of pine cone paintings. I was grieving the loss of our red spruce. I counted the rings in the stump before they ground it and found that had lived next to the garage for over 70 years. I only enjoyed its beauty for 27 years. It was a piece of northern respite in a seriously urban landscape. I spent many a summer gazing up at its branches marveling at the creatures that flitted to and fro in the branches covered in cones. One of the few things that still connected me to my childhood was gone.
I didn't even realize it was a red spruce until I decided to learn more about the beautiful tree that was lost because of a high wind that nearly uprooted it. It was leaning badly towards the driveway and there was no way to accommodate it. In my online meanderings, I discovered some beautiful things about pine trees. All over Europe they are a symbol of peace. Personally, I find the cones to be a symbol of hope. A promise of renewal. Many species don't germinate until after a fire has ravaged the countryside. Thinking about the fires that swept through California last year, this fact gave me hope that nature would replenish the landscape if we just gave her some time.
All to often we are impatient for things to renew after an event. We want our spirit to heal right away, but it takes time. Nature takes her course and things will be different but life always proliferates and things shall be renewed. What are your thoughts? I would love to know!