"I was just doing my job," the tree might have said as it accepted Large Tree of The Year Award. But imagine what it had endured.
The marker was a surprise to me. Who knew that trees could receive this sort of recognition. But there it was complete with a memorial.
I wondered how many people we pass by every day who are worthy of at least as much attention. The tree had of course managed to provide shade and perhaps even shelter to man and beast for a century or more.
To get to its moment the tree would have survived:
1937's record snowfall
1949's two degrees below zero
1981's flash floods
2008's record heat
2021's extended deep freeze
and countless droughts and micro-bursts and nearby construction efforts. Every day storms and big moments.
Two ladies gathered under the tree as my dog and I passed by. They were remarking about its strength and beauty. One mentioned the depth its roots must have reached.
We seldom recognize people who do "ordinary things." But there is nothing ordinary about standing in place with grace and strength through life's storms.
Nothing ordinary about the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.
You still standing? Of course you are. Congratulations. Really.