Monday, September 1, 2008

I love The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. I used to read it to my students each year and we'd write about our favorite tree.
Once there was a giving tree who loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come to play
Swinging from the branches,
sleeping in the shade
Laughing all the summer’s hours away.
And so they love, Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.
But soon the boy grew older and one day he came and said,
"Can you give me some money, tree, to buy something I’ve found?"
"I have no money," said the tree, "Just apples, twigs and leaves."
"But you can take my apples, boy, and sell them in the town."
And so he did and Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.But soon again the boy came back and he said to the tree,"
I’m now a man and I must have a house that’s all my home."
"I can’t give you a house" he said, "The forest is my house."
"But you may cut my branches off and build yourself a home"
And so he did.Oh, the tree was happy.Oh, the tree was glad.
And time went by and the boy came back with sadness in his eyes.
"My life has turned so cold," he says, "and I need sunny days."
"I’ve nothing but my trunk," he says, "But you can cut it down
And build yourself a boat and sail away."
And so he did and Oh, the tree was happy.Oh, the tree was glad.
And after years the boy came back, both of them were old.
"I really cannot help you if you ask for another gift."
"I’m nothing but an old stump now.
I’m sorry but I’ve nothing more to give"
"I do not need very much now, just a quiet place to rest,"
The boy, he whispered, with a weary smile.
"Well", said the tree, "An old stump is still good for that."
"Come, boy", he said, "Sit down, sit down and rest a while."
And so he did and Oh, the tree was happy. Oh, the tree was glad.
by Shel Silverstein
I love our family tree by the back yard. It has shaded our comings and goings for the twenty years we have lived here. It has graced us with its beauty and it strength every season of the year. In the spring Amanda used to love to play with the helicopter seeds it shed upon the brick walk. In summer she played on the swing her dad hung from a low lying branch. Soon the ground had 2 sweet furrows tiny feet made in their back and forth motion to fly and to stop.
Oftentimes in late summer when the dogdays endlessly went on and on its shade created a huge relief to weary gardeners, mowers, playsters. In the autumn the golden yellow leaves created a perfect backdrop for our home and when they fell and were raked into huge piles they became the temptation for young feet and legs to jump into with friends and mothers.
Now the tree stands sentinel trying desparately to yield its bounty. There are no young feet, no swings, no playsters to enjoy its cooling respite. but it struggles all the same to provide what little shade it can with its failing canopy and sparse branches. It hurts me to see its limbs falter. Everyday there is more and more evidence of its demise lying on the ground.

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