Surrounding our home like sentries are gum trees, some of which would be 80′ high. The backyard features a ‘mother’ gum which is heritage listed, meaning approval is required before any part can be removed. The house was built around her. She’s the pinnacle of the ship.
Turning off the TV and the kids means nature’s soundtrack plays from dawn until dusk. Rainbow Lorikeets twitter and play in the lower branches and entertain with their antics in the bird boxes nailed to her trunk. Possums disembark from her to our roof before daybreak and reunite in the higher regions when the moon is full. The local koala takes his overnight stay on a fork wide enough to comfortably hold his weight. On still Summer days he stays low to the ground, easy for us to watch. Rosellas, kookaburras, honeyeaters and finches all delight in the bird bath under the shadow of her outstretched arms. The hoot of a Tawny Frogmouth owl can be heard after dusk. The Black Cockatoos chew on her looking for grubs and branches are shed which fall to the ground. I am in awe of her but that’s tinged with fear. Many a night has passed where I lay and wonder whether she’ll survive the storm unscathed.
She provides shade for picnics, is wide enough to hide behind and will most likely have the boys high amongst her leaves when they are a bit older. She is the heart of our yard.
Do my kids see me as the tree of our home? Sure they’ve nestled in my arms many-a-time and Just 3 gives the best leg hugs and I do call him tree hugger when he’s latched onto my thigh. I stand firm and weather most fronts. I go through the seasonal changes. Bunkering down for the long haul of winter, the focus is remaining stalwart through the rain, hail and wind. I’m always there. Strong and sturdy but fragile all the same-providing refuge, standing tall, always watching over but who watches over me?
I envy my saplings, for I once was one too. But now it’s their turn and I’ll try to ensure they’ll each grow to become the tree I see they’ll be.
It’s a mother’s nature to love.
Image from: here.