This poem was inspired by a true story that I tell at the end. It is such a sweet story that to begin with the background would give it away.
I'm so lonesome!
A little tree by the interstate sat
Apart from the forest with no other
Orphaned with no sisters and no mother
The other trees laughed at their lonely peer
Cedars are bullies -- they would point and jeer
Poor little tree, why are you by yourself
A dropping from a bird or seed that fell
Did you come upon the wind, can you tell
So unhappy, so terribly forlorn
The hawk and the dove, the tree they morn
Comes the solstice, winter, ice and snow
Others shed their leaves, so naked and bare
But the poor little thing, she does not care
Just an I-40 orphan, who cares why…
Just a lonesome shrub to a passerby
Just a small tree at the Levy Exit
Wait, someone noticed the little tree’s plight
Dressed her in baubles, so shiny and bright
Tinsel, silver, and gold, garlands of red
Circle her body, angel on her head
What beauty! The loveliest of all trees
A good Samaritan has heard her cries
Heard her wail, “Please God, just let me die!”
Saw the little tree, heard the forest laugh
Saw what others did not see in the waif
Now her beauty shines to each car passing
To each and all she waves a blessing
She’s the envy of all the other trees
Now they embrace her and let her be
She is not lonely and has friends galore
She brings hope and peace and joy to our world
The True Story
Just a couple of years ago on my way to work, I noticed a small shrub growing all by itself just before the Levy Exit into the city of North Little Rock (Arkansas, for those of you who do not know me.) Last year someone decorated this isolated shrub two or three weeks before Christmas. It was beautifully decked out in reds, golds, silver balls, other colored tinsels and garlands. I wondered if the person or people did this as a prank, and I also wondered if they knew what joy it gave to the people driving by.
The housing area to the north of this exit is what most people would call “a little on the rough side,” but up the hill is an area of older middle-class homes and Pulaski County College. a junior college and technical institution. My guess was that some college kids thought that it would be fun to decorate the tree, but I figured it would be vandalized by some of the ruffians across the freeway. I was wrong.
Every morning on my way to work, this Christmas tree in the middle of nowhere brightened my day. I silently thanked whoever had gone to all this work. Right after Christmas the mystery decorator or decorators came back and neatly retrieved their decorations. No mess left behind.
This year when the decorations didn’t appear on schedule, I really missed seeing them and figured that last year was a one-time occurrence. However, one week before Christmas, there it was – all shiny and beautiful just like last year. This year, however, just a couple of days after the decorating of the tree, rains started and I worried. The tree seems to be holding up quite well though, and I’m sure the artists will be back to retrieve their decorations again this year.
I have no idea who these good Samaritans are, but I suspect that they are college students. If that is the case, they will eventually move on. I just hope that they recruit the new kids who follow them to continue this tradition. Maybe it is a fraternity who will do just that. I could be wrong because it may be some sweet couple who live nearby. Whoever you are, just know that you are spreading joy with this little tree.
In my poem I called it a cedar but it may be anything from a leyland cypress to a spruce. I can't tell from the highway.
I wish I could get a photo of the real tree, but it is too dangerous to stop on the highway. The tree is located between the exit into the city and an overpass. Last year I attempted to find a safe spot to park and take a photo, but I gave up parking on the shoulder. Then I drove around hoping to park on a side road and walk to it, but I couldn’t locate the tree from the side street. I recently located the tree, but rains have prevented hiking in the ravine or on the slushy hillside to it. Maybe next year.
PEACE, JOY AND LOVE TO ALL.
Aftermath of a storm
Update Christmas 2017
Just a few days before Christmas, there she was again decorated in all her finery. The day after Christmas my husband said he knew how important it was to me to get a picture of the tree.The traffic was thin so he stopped for me to take a photo. I was shocked at the damage to the tree from a hard rain we'd had on on December 23. I took a photo anyway, but the poor little tree was devastated. The decorations were hanging in tatters and the star is the white object hanging to the East. I am posting it damage and all because you can still see how someone lovingly decorated the tree before the storm. Of all the years that I've been able to stop....