Saturday, December 10, 2005

little tree / little silent christmas tree

today our goal was to cut down our own yule tree. first we went to ashlawn highland, home of fifth president, james monroe. at ashlawn highland you are permitted to cut a tree down from the edge of the forest and leave a monetary donation if you wish.

we had a nice walk along the edge of the forest, but the trees were either massive, or tiny and spindly, like charlie brown's tree in the famed christmas special. so we left ashlawn highland without a tree.

we took a drive southward, and then westward, and then northward, looking for a tree farm. i was doing an invocation by singing "oh christmas tree" with new lyrics. and then the sign appeared, in red and green, "christmas trees!"

we turned left, pulled into a residential driveway, and for $20 we were able to cut down a tree from a small family owned tree farm. a friendly dog watched from the porch as the sun set behind the blue ridge. we chose a white pine, nicely shaped and full, with long soft needles. dan and tashi sawed her down in a few fell swoops. while dan hoisted her into our vehicle, tashi and i sat by the stump and offered up our gratitude. i thought i might cry.

we brought it home and trimmed it and plopped it into the big ugly plastic stand and covered it with lights and ornaments. this year i've finally given up on trying to have the perfect looking martha stewart tree. damn those six planets in virgo. i did insist on stringing the lights myself though.

so now we've got a tree in our living room. the cats stare mischievously at it. tashi does a jig next to it. dan and i gaze at it while drinking honey mead, trying to figure out what to do with the displaced items that once stood where the christmas tree now stands.

it is indeed so very pretty. . .


little tree - a poem by e.e. cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

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