Eastern Hemlock. Tsuga Canadensis. I wasn’t familiar with this tree from my growing up in Michigan, but I’ve taken a liking to it. These stout trees are sturdy and graceful. The dark-green, flattened “needles” are arranged in large, feathery fronds. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/hemlock.aspx) says that “this slow-growing long-lived tree thrives in the shade and may take 250 to 300 years to fully mature and may live for 800 years or more.” These trees rival Methuselah. Our lives are ephemeral in comparison. Willow trees are light, airy, almost frivolous. Ashes stretch for the sky with a relentless eagerness. But Hemlocks stand with a brooding, pensive watchfulness that for some reason I like. They seem like patient trees, thoughtful trees. Perhaps I like this tree because its large spreading branches allow little to grow underneath and this provides a shelter from sun and rain and a quiet spot for prayer or thought. Sometimes we see beauty in grand vistas, brilliant sunsets, starlit nights. Sometimes we see it looking up through the branches of a single, silent tree.
This one passing wanderer;
Does it notice me?