Poetry: Climbing the Tree of Life

Friday, March 24, 2023

Climbing the Tree of Life

Climbing from the ground and limb to limb
We see the tree is a lot like you and me.
It grows and shows a life within,
Sequoia in LFP
Photo by Vicki Westberg
A living thing that will pass in time,
But now gives a wider, taller view
As you get higher on its living ladder.

Acorns, cones, fruit or flowers will be found
In these fine bowers skyward bound.
You behold early on, a child’s swing,
Birds on the nest or on the wing.
Sustained by surroundings and giving back
You encounter many a living thing.

Branch to branch brushing as you pass through
The leaves, the needles scratching, fondling you.
Come the sleet, the heat, the snow, the rain
Hear the wind now gain in strength,
At length the whispers, squeaks, creaks and groans
Of skin to bark and wood to bones.
‘till you reach the top and behold the view!
To the eye now all is new!

Growth is important, some losing, some winning
Until we reach the final inning.
Seeing far out and a long way down
From the start of life to the final round.
But is this the end of a beautiful trip?
Or is it the start of a new beginning?

Vicki Westberg
Mar. 19, 2023

3-26-2023 revisions


herrbrahms March 24, 2023 at 8:30 PM  

The pictured tree is a giant sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum. It is native only to the Sierra Nevada but grows well here when introduced.

Western Washington sequoias tend to be isolated from other trees since they were planted by humans. Without a forest canopy around to block light, the lower branches mostly hang on rather than falling off, giving a triangular appearance.

Sequoias are all around if you know where to look, but one notable example is at the Broadmoor library, 130th & Greenwood.

Think hard before you plant one of your own. Sequoias become unruly beasts when they get big. Their wood is brittle, and in a windstorm they can drop crushing branches onto anything below them. Fallen branches have been known to smash concrete.

Anonymous,  March 26, 2023 at 8:55 PM  

I heard that the Broadmoor Library sequoia was dying. Does anyone know if it is alive and well?

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