Thursday, December 4, 2014
Of Tributes and Trees
This magically appeared in my Dropbox yesterday. After the tree planting ceremony a couple of weeks ago various friends asked me what kind of a tree had been planted in Dan's honor. I was at the ceremony, saw the tree, took a picture of it--but I had no idea, really. Some kind of evergreen, I said.
So it's a deodar. One of my favorite trees, though I've never seen a young one, which I guess is why I couldn't put a name to it. In adulthood, deodars are massive beings with spreading branches that seem like arms, ready to envelop everything. I fell in love with them decades ago when my children began attending a school whose campus was graced with nearly century old deodars. And the only Christmas attraction that I truly love is Christmas tree lane in Altadena. I've even blogged about it. Really, click on that Altadena link and look at the photo. At Christmastime the trees are hung with colored lights, and people walk silently in the dark or drive two miles an hour with their headlights off under the spell of those trees. The street is as hushed and holy as any church.
When Dan and I took walks together, he always seemed impressed because I knew the names of trees and flowers. When I moved from the San Gabriel Valley to the beach, I took on i.d.-ing birds, and he would always listen while I explained how to tell a long-billed curlew from a whimbrel or a marbled godwit. How did I know these things, he'd ask as if I were some sort of naturalist genius. I've always thought that because I'm a writer, it's just my job to know.
Anyhow. A deodar.
And two Christmases ago, there he was.
My mom looks about a million years older now.
Well, so do I.