I love–and I don’t believe that is hyperbole–many kinds of trees. When I was a small child, I loved the Colorado blue spruce on a nearby street in my Detroit neighborhood. Even as a little kid, I think I knew what an excellent blue spruce it was and at Christmastime there were holiday lights on it.
In my mind, I see the trees of our home on the lake almost as vividly as I see my dad raking the leaves or my mom taking care of the petunias in the window box by the door (later, as the trees grew ever larger, I think she had to put in impatiens). Mostly we had oaks–my Dad said they were black oaks– and hickories. We had a sassafras down by the lake and, for a while, a cherry up by the mailbox.
Once I traveled west in 1970, I loved the ponderosas, pinyons, junipers. aspens, bristlecone pines, and many others. When I moved to Virginia, I fell in love with the tulip poplars.
What I can’t understand is how I failed to focus on sycamores for so many decades. I started noticing them about six years ago in Arizona. Then, back here in Virginia, I finally noticed that sycamores stand sentinel along the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers (among others). Wild, ragged, and ghostly: Sycamores make me think about the tangled beauty of this world.