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Encounter with a Ponderosa Pine

Ponderosa Pine in my neighborhood

There are many beautiful trees in my neighborhood. One of them grows at the corner of my street and a cross street. It is a stately Ponderosa Pine. It stands alone in one section of the front yard, holding a special and valued place.


I have come across Ponderosa Pines in other places as well. I think they are quite beautiful and elegant. One ponderosa in Spokane, Washington that I saw in 2012 made a big impression on me. Every once in a while, when I walk through an area that has several trees, I feel a connection with one of them. That happened with the ponderosa in Spokane. As I walked by it, I felt a sudden sense of joy. It was as though the tree were delighted to see me. Sounds weird, I know, but these things sometimes happen to me, and they create wonderful memories.


It felt so good to stand near the tree that I spent a good 15 minutes there. In some intangible way, it felt that I was being rejuvenated by the tree. Trying to put words to the experience is next to impossible. How do you explain feeling like your body just got a remarkable tune-up?


When I walked by the Ponderosa Pine in my neighborhood recently, I felt no special connection with it. I was just curious about what kind of tree it was. Using my amazing Picture This app, I learned it was a ponderosa. It reminded me of the gift I received from the Ponderosa Pine in Spokane eleven years ago.


It isn't easy to talk about experiences like this. Some people think such a possibility is ridiculous. Others get a far away look in their eyes as though they too remember an experience they had with a tree.


What makes an encounter with one tree so special while there's no such experience with other trees of that species? I don't know. I just know that when such a joyful encounter does occur, it is special beyond words.


You may wonder how anyone could believe such a thing is possible. I suggest that, if you're so inclined, you remain open to the possibility. It might result in an experience that lifts you from deep sadness, or it may simply add joy and delight to your life.

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The Gift of Trees

Huge, tall and rounded pine tree stands by entrance to Animas Valley Mall in Farmington, NM
Pine tree at Animas Valley Mall in Farmington, NM.

The next time you're driving along a busy street through town, notice the nearby trees. They line sidewalks, provide shade in parking lots, and add beauty to people's yards.


It can be hard to notice them when you're creeping through heavy traffic, worried about getting to work on time, picking up your child from piano lessons, or making it to a doctor's appointment. Those frustrating, irritating, stressful moments are sometimes the best time to notice trees.


The shopping mall in my town has a lot of trees. They provide boundaries between roadways and business parking lots. They make certain parking spots look inviting because they protect vehicles from the hot sun. Their decorative leaves lace the air with intricate designs. Blossoming trees perfume the air and splash color with artistic flair.


You may only have a second to notice a tall, majestic pine tree spreading its branches before the traffic light turns green. You press the gas pedal as your vehicle springs forward, never noticing pine cones that decorate grass around the tree.


Your eyes may barely catch the small stately tree with leaves that grace the sky like a finely embroidered shawl. In your quest to get to your destination on time, you will pass dozens, even hundreds of trees, all filling the sky line with their own unique beauty.


What would we do without trees? We hardly think about them or about the care it takes to keep them healthy. Once in a long while we might catch a glimpse of lovely trees along the sidewalk as we park our car and hurry into the grocery store.


Trees are a constant gift to us. When we notice them, our lives feel a little richer and a bit less stressed.

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