One of the things I’ve felt so attuned to in this trip is the way that trees define a place. I can still remember the feeling at the forest where we stayed in Santa Fe, of pine cones falling down and echoing throughout the hollow forest. Every night. In Breckenridge we gazed at the blue spruce. We saw the Aspens change colors in our trek across Colorado. We heard rain tapping on palmetto leaves (fronds?) when we got to the coast of Georgia. And moss mystified that same Georgia coast, hanging down from stately old oaks.
And now for the long leaf pine. I didn’t realize how starkly this tree defined my upbringing until I left and came back and found that they feel so familiar, so known.
It’s so unique the way it’s soars up so high into the sky, yet lets so much sunlight shine through its branches. It coats the floor with needles. It thrives on a good annual burn. It sustains a multitude of birds and animals. In the wind, it whispers. In the rain, it emits a comforting forest smell. In the quiet, it tells your secrets. In this crazy world of redefining home, the long leaf pine has been and continues to give me some sense of home.