Day two feels a bit like out of focus and unpracticed to poem on demand. For me, writing poetry comes from that thunder in the wind. When it is drumming I write, when it is quiet I don’t. But there is something to be said for writing out of repetition or ritual everyday, it is a sort of calling up the storm.
Have you ever lost something that you cared for, that you nurtured for a time, then it was destroyed? Was it a cake that burnt, a car that was stolen, a life study that was shut down or a relationship that didn’t continue or even suffered by death.
Well, for me it was a Burr Oak tree. I found three acorns in the fall of ’13. I placed them in a ziploc, covered with damp mulch and sawdust and let them sleep in the fridge all winter. At the threat of any fridge cleaning, I was there to ensure my bag of dirty unidentifiable didn’t get tossed. The acorns survived the fridge. They made it to the spring. I then placed each one in their own special potting soil mix container. Its hard to keep a small pot watered in Texas but I succeeded in not letting them get too dried out. After a few weeks, one green sprout pushed through the dirt and after a few more weeks I pushed back the dirt on the other two to see if there was activity. There was not, they were shriveled and molding. So I thought one out of three and I would plant one of the most beautiful Oak trees by the end of the summer. I transferred the little sprout carefully to a larger container to give the roots room and to ensure the soil stayed damp. It grew six inches and I counted the leaves every day. I was up to seven when the grasshoppers took a few. Growth was stunted as it recovered but it was strong. I had hopes for this grand Burr Oak tree. It was watered everyday, a necessity in the Texas sun. When I wasn’t around, my mom, Linda, also helped with keeping it watered. She gave it as much care as I did. As a matter of fact she was zealous to get it in the ground but I held her reins. I read it was to be planted in the fall. So come September, I dug a very big hole mending the soil, mixing a layer of the native soil with the special blend to help in its transition. It seemed to be fine and held on to its leaves that the grasshoppers had left behind. It stood a proud twelve inches tall by now. The watering was harder in the ground. One, the water it received seemed to disappear in the dry earth and two, it was further, we had to walk over 100 yards with two or three gallons of water a day. We were diligent. We staked it in the center of a tomato cage with a neon pink ribbon so the mowers would see it in the field. Then a fall garden was plowed on each side of it. This made me nervous for its safe keeping but everyone knew it was there and I took comfort in that. Of course I worried about it all winter being a new sapling. This winter we had snow and sleet and below freezing days. I checked on its woody bark often and kept a layer of leaves and mulch circled around the trunk. It is now Spring and I’ve watched the tiny green leaf nubs grow bigger until I could see the leaf veins wrapped up tight in a ball. I was so excited to think how big this tree would grow this spring and summer, approximately five to seven feet a year. I was utterly in love with this little acorn (actually a quite big acorn) that had survived through all this time and transitions and was about to flourish into a strong tree. I with Linda had given it great care. But the next day I saw a plow down the hill, tilling the garden and the tomato cage was thrown under a cedar elm tree nearby. My sapling was gone, lost in the fresh plowed earth. I was heartbroken. For a long time I searched with a garden tool, digging in the place it was or might have been in the large freshly tilled rectangle. I was looking for a root ball or the mended soil or something from my little sapling. I was lucky to have found one three inch green woody twig about as big around as a pencil and wondered if it could be my Burr. All the emotions that flowed through me were sad that the big machine could so easily chop up my sapling and did. All I could think to do now was save that small twig that I had found. I rushed to the greenhouse and dipped it in root developer and gave it a new container with hope because that was the chance it had. All my efforts and care cut down and I didn’t understand why a situation was treated so unkindly. In conclusion in my mind, I decided, I would not let someone’s unkindness chop down my own. I would keep planting trees and kindness. In the spirit of who I am, it is what I do, rebuild, so I embraced the hope of my little tree surviving and if it doesn’t my kindness will. I am already planning to plant more trees this year.
This is the story from where Sapling Lost came.
You can find the Poem A Day in my blog under Poem a Day: April 2015 or on my fan page.