One doesn't anticipate an assault on your sense of aesthetics and reason when you set out for a stroll in the local public gardens.
The recent balmy weather and the pleasure of wandering, found me perusing a Stonehenge-like structure at our Toledo Botanical Gardens.
Let's take a closer look. Ahhh - This is a memorial to some beloved tree. A permanent memorial to a gentle denizen of the air that could not be saved from the ravages of time. Nice.
But what am I seeing beyond this monument?
They've cut down the Sycamore tree that had lost it's balancing mate in a wind storm years ago on the other side of the Sycamore allee. My mind was resisting the evidence of my eyes.
This was a healthy tree, ready to unfurl its plate-sized leaves into Spring air.
The remnants of the tree, the sections of trunk that just hours before had swayed high up in the warming air, lay stacked neatly around a poetry plaque afixed to a stanchion.
(Click to read the poem or read the text below)
Years ago, the gardens commissioned these Poet Trees. They are placed throughout the gardens so that as you enjoy the visual beauty you may take time to pause and share the poet's vision of truth and beauty.
So what poem had caused people to pause beneath the canopy of this felled Sycamore and what wisdom was offered to them as they stood beneath the sheltering branches and whispering leaves?
Let's take a closer look. Perhaps you'll share my dumbfounded sense at the absurdity I witnessed as I stood in the sawdust reading this poem.
It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it then.
That it may leaf
And fill with singing birds!
Hear me, that people may once again
Find the good road
And shielding tree.
Riiight . . .