I Think That I Shall Never See…


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I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

 A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

 A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 source: Poetry (August 1913).


I’ve always loved that poem, and thought of it over the years every time I planted or looked at a tree.

Growing up where there was an abundance of foliage, especially trees. It was my quest after moving to Kansas to populate our Ranchette with as many as I could.

My husband likes the open spaces that the Kansas Prairie provides, but I missed the forests and rolling hills with hardwoods, that turned brilliant reds, oranges, sepia, yellows and purple during the crisp fall season.

June 23, 2014 020

During the early eighties, my dad brought me a Sugar Maple that he personally dug up from his Iowa soil. It was only about five feet tall when he helped me plant it. I have to admit I had little hope that it would make it through our hot-dry, windy summers.

But I nurtured it, as best I could, and eventually it began to grow at a steady rate. I knew they, hard woods, grew slow… so I’d check it every spring to measure its progress.

I kept the weeds, and grass from growing around it. I aerated the soil under it, and watered it when it looked parched.

Year-by-year I could see it was pushing its way through the flint and limestone beneath to reach a water source. And as it did, it grew a little stronger.

I would take pictures and send them to my dad, and whenever he’d visit, he would walk around its perimeter and say, “It’s really got a nice shape…I think it’s going to make it!”

I kept it trimmed, like he told me.

I talked to it, and even stroked its trunk.

I’m a believer that trees, and all plants are truly alive and need encouragement.



This is the tree today.

I call it, “Grandpa Tree” after my Dad.

And every time I pass by and look up, I think of him and smile.

It’s a good thing to plant a tree in memory of someone you love.

That tree, keeps my Dad close and in my heart.





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