Today the sun warms the front of our house. I spent some time sitting at our dining room table, in front of the big window. The sun poured in, warming my thoughts a little about this cold, snowy winter day in January. The sun felt warm, it also made me happy. We have had so many grey, winter days, the snow has been on the ground since early December. I'm ready for soft spring breezes and bird songs.
A winter sunset and the old oak tree. (2010)
As I lingered in the sun, I took a break from the book I was reading and looked toward the old oak tree in our front yard. I still remembered when we bought this land, it was this oak tree I sat under, with my back against it's bark, looking out at the farm fields in front of our new home. I could feel life pulsing through this tree that spring in May, thirty six years ago. I love many things about this tree and if I were a tree, I would want to be just like this oak tree, strong, proud and giving.
Our old oak tree is big and somewhat knotted, every fall some little acorns fall from the great reaching branches. The leaves are beautiful in the fall, reds and orange to russett colors. I love that a big strong branch held the swing my children played on in the summertime.
Today I look at this beautiful tree, it's branches are naked as the snow lays on the ground below. I see an area of grass near the tree on the east side that has no snow and then my eyes are drawn to activity on this cold sunny day around and on the branches of this old oak tree. I see a flicker on the ground in the grass. I love the yellow shafted flicker and think they are one of my favorite birds in the woodpecker family. Then I see a flash of red and recognize the cardinal. The more I look the more birds I see, the downey woodpecker, a nuthatch moving along the trunk of the tree. There are chickadees and juncos and I also see the little song sparrows. What a gift this tree is for the birds to enjoy.
Our old oak tree.... (2009)
The Red-tailed Hawk has used this tree as a lookout and we have also seen raccoons scurry up the trunk to hang out awhile. I watched the blue jays come and gather it's acorns last fall. Many branches have fallen from this tree over the years, they have warmed us as we sit around a little campfire. Many gifts come from this beautiful old oak tree and I am grateful she sits in our yard and that we have become old friends.