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Faith and Inspiration

What is a tree?


 "There is nothing as lovely as a tree… as when it falls!"

--Part of the little boy's credo

Trees are…


Trees are what? 

Some trees are tall.

I mean, some trees are REALLY tall.

Take Hyperion, for instance.

Hyperion is a giant coastal redwood.

And if you are wondering, Hyperion, as the world's tallest tree, is pushing the 380-foot mark.  

I think you will agree that Hyperion is tall, right?


When I was a little boy pup, we kept the home fires burning by using wood as fuel, elm and oak mostly, so most of the trees we hacked down weren't wasted. They ended up being burned in either the heating stove, or the cook stove. 

Boy, I sure do miss mama's apple pies!

"Hack, thwack, hackety whack thwack, thwack, hack!" If you are wondering, that is the sound a little boy makes with his little hatchet as he attacks an innocent and helpless tree.  

I can remember that long ago Christmas when my father gave me my first hatchet. I can also remember trying out my new hatchet on the legs of the kitchen table. 

 When my good old pops discovered these early attempts at altering the family's furniture, he told me in a no-nonsense manner that hatchets were intended to cut down trees, not the furniture!  

Wow, what an idea! I could cut down trees!  

Soon, very soon, there wasn't a tree on the old home place that didn't suffer from an assault by the little human monster with its cute little hatchet!

As time progressed, as it usually does, I can remember the lady that told my mother that if she were to be reincarnated, she wanted to come back as a butterfly! This didn't surprise me all that much because butterflies are always flitting. I mean, they spend their entire lives flitting here and flitting there as if that were their sole purpose in life - flitting. Yeah, that lady was definitely a flitterer. I mean, looking pretty and flitting, but there has to be more to life than just flitting, right? I mean, that would be like coming back as a fruit fly, and what kind of life is that?

Me? If I believed in reincarnation, which I don't, I would come back as a tree! But not just any old tree, oh no, I would come back as a giant coastal redwood! But there can't be any little boys with axes in their grubby little paws, right.  

When I was a boy, my buddies and I would go out into the woods and climb up into the tops of the trees, mostly 30 or 40-foot tall elms. Then our friends (It gives new meaning to the word friends, doesn't it?) would hack at the base of the tree until said tree, with a creak and a groan, with the idiot still at the top, would fall, and the tree would hit the ground with a thump!  

Then it would be somebody else's turn to have fun!  

Yeah, I know. It gives new meaning to the word fun. Thank the good Lord that there was a seemingly inexhaustible supply of those elm trees!  

A Tree Lover's Prayer

"Dear God, thanks so much for giving us guardian angels so that despite the occasional bruise, scrape and gouge, we survived, for the most part. Unless I am wrong, I have an idea our guardian angels enjoyed our shenanigans almost as much as we did! Thanks for protecting us, Father, In Jesus' name, Amen."

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

Faith, Inspiration, Trees, Redwood


4 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • rmsommerfeld

    My Dear Friend, As you are recognized as a naturalist, I was shocked to read the title of your article and realize, you admitted to not knowing what a tree was! Trees are very harmful examples of Flora! Since they are used to make log cabins, there are economically damaging to those who work in sawmills to support their families! They provide sanctuary for those winged miscreants that befoul the pristine finishes on our vehicles! They offer refuge to the squirrels that taunt and torment my cat! I am not even going to mention they provide the raw materials for splinters! If trees were not evil incarnate, why would the Good Lord have given young boys the innate instinct to chop them down if they can get an axe? Why would only a lonely despondent woman find them acceptable as subjects for a poem? I believe my friend, you should reconsider you position!

    Tuesday, June 7 Report this

  • Charles

    rmsommerfeld, dear sir, I almost perished in the bowels of a giant hollow tree when I was an innocent boy kid. I thought it would be a good idea to explore the dark and sinister nether regions of that tree, but as providence would have it I escaped, or think I did, but maybe not? Bless you my eloquent friend, Chaz

    Tuesday, June 7 Report this

  • mtmcfaddenfla

    A 380 foot tree - WOW. I found your story about climbing to the top of a tree and wait for your “friends” to cut it down interesting. Sounds like young Chuck did not have the brains God gave the goofy gopher… Seems that somethings never change as I witnessed you jump out of a perfectly good running airplane to celebrate your birthday last year. Once a daredevil always a daredevil. Be well my friend.

    Tuesday, June 7 Report this

  • Charles

    Dear Mike, all I cAN SAY IS "I RESEMBLE THAT!" Chaz

    Wednesday, June 8 Report this