Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Beautiful Old Lady

Several of my friends seem to be having birthdays around this time, including me not too long ago, and of course the issue of age keeps coming up, usually in the form of some kind of well worn joke.  It was even a main topic in my book group as we were discussing The Madonnas of Leningrad, a novel about a woman slowly being lost to Alzheimer's, whose youthful memories as a docent helping to save the art at the Hermitage during the siege of Leningrad in WWII become more real to her than what's happening now.

So I had to smile when I saw the pear tree on our back hill blooming her heart out.  This tree was very old when we moved in more than twenty years ago.  We can't believe that she hasn't blown over in some storm because her trunk is now hollowed out at the base so that the bark and that thin layer of xylem and phloem I remember from biology class is about all that's holding her up.  She may not last another season, but, by golly, while she's here, it's spring and she is going to put on a show.

So here's to all of us who are another year older.  Hope we can create as much beauty as this tree when we are her age.

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