A Tree Grows All Alone at Libbey Bowl

I opened an e-mail from Anna this morning.  One of my favorite people at the Ojai Music Festival office, I always enjoy hearing from her even when she’s asking for money.

I had all but forgotten that Sweetie and I had donated some bucks to the building of the new Libbey Bowl and had asked to be recognized through the adoption of one of the new trees gracing the site.

Anna’s e-mail informed me that some plaque-snatcher had either absconded with or trashed the memorializing plaque.  And we had never even seen it, never had the pleasure of meeting our tree.

I’m sure that our no-doubt glorious tree had enjoyed the company of the fancy sign with our names on it.  After all, what better way to spend a relatively unmoving existence than wondering who those folks were whose names stood in close proximity to its ever-expanding trunk.  Could they be famous people?  Surely they must be tree lovers.  But sadly, over time, the tree wondered why they never came to visit.

Braving the elements, struggling to send its roots to a more stable location, and listening to what at times must have seemed like discordant sounds emanating from the often strange-looking performers elevated above the seated multitude, the tree remained confident that its plaque-listed donors would eventually reveal themselves. And it would finally have a good tree hug.

Maybe it might, god willing, happen during the upcoming Music Festival.  Surely, they would come then, seek it out, introduce themselves, wrap their arms around its trunk, and marvel at what they had wrought.

I shudder to imagine what probably happened to dash the excitement that the tree must have felt in anticipation of the visit of its benefactors.  What put an end to one of its fondest desires.

It was dark.  Night, a time for the tree to rest and ingest oxygen after an exhausting day of absorbing carbon dioxide and producing the life-giving breath enjoyed by humans.  Disturbed by the approach of an unidentifiable specter, the tree wondered who might be roaming the park at this late hour.

Nearer the specter came.  Stopping before the tree, it slowly looked left, looked right, looked behind.  Reaching down at the base of the tree, the specter grasped the plaque.  The tree exploded with fear.  It expelled a silent tree scream.  Those are my friends.  They are coming to visit.  Don’t take that plaque.  They’ll never find me.  I’ll be alone.  Please...

Wrenching the plaque from its moorings, the specter listened and understood the tree’s pleading.  The specter looked at the welcoming umbrella of tree leaves, the smoothness of the graceful trunk, and proceeded to harden its heart.  It curled its lips into a sneer and malevolently twisted the plaque, rendering it into unrecognizable, useless, junk.  Dropping the detritus at the foot of the tree, the specter looked up and said I hate you, those who brought you here, and what you represent.

The tree, a sentient being serving only to enrich the lives of others, did not understand the specter.  But you do.

sad tree

1 Response to “A Tree Grows All Alone at Libbey Bowl”


  1. 1 K April 29, 2013 at 5:37 am

    My sister would have enjoyed this story. Who can possibly understand why people do what they do, and now this poor tree has to suffer. As the saying goes..”What’s it all about Alfie?”

    Like


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