Trees

I was watching a drama on Amazon yesterday and there was a dialogue between a man and woman who were walking in the city of Dublin getting to know each other.  She was from Cuba and he was Irish.  She asked him what kind of tree she was looking at and he answered, it was a Sycamore.  Admiring it she loved the different shape of the leaves. They talked a little more and he was intrigued and attracted by their cultural differences.  Although a nurse in Cuba, her qualifications were not recognized in her adopted country so she resorted to do cleaning work.  He asked her if she was homesick and she answered that sadly she was.  She said from faraway everyone looks the same, just like the trees.  It’s not until you get closer that you can see the differences.  In her job she would say hello to people and some would respond, but as a cleaner she was invisible to most and they wouldn’t even bother to acknowledge her.  Her words saddened them both while they thought about it.  Then she said, “We are all just like the trees, beautiful, and not all the same.”

I love moments that make me think about what was said. It was a comparison I had not considered and found it very relevant.  Like the trees, we are all different, indigenous to where we came from, and not always familiar with others and their habitats.  We migrate to different corners of the world in search of a better life, adapting to various cultures, lifestyles and living conditions.I celebrate our ethnicities and varying backgrounds.  I started to play around with these comparisons and came up with this poem. Hope you like it!

Trees

We are all like trees
Coming in different shapes and sizes
Some come tall, others bushy
Thick with foliage and in other guises

Trees manage to survive
Planted in many places
Like us not all are native
We come with differing faces

Their leaves are varying in size and shape
Some are shed every year
Others remain and are evergreen
As a Christmas tree, bringing good cheer

The leafless trees of Winter
Offer no refuge from the coldness
Sending inhabitants south
To avoid becoming homeless

The swaying southern palms
Majestic and evergreen they remain
Welcoming all who arrive
Giving shelter to sustain

The lofty Bamboo
Strong and slender
Producing melodic sounds
A calming effect rendered

Tropical flowers in December
Bringing joy to your heart
As a good friend would do
When you have been apart

The beauty of a blossom tree
Bringing smiles in the Spring
Reminiscent of a newborn child
Another beginning for everything

The characteristics of trees
And those of the human race
Caution us to study the subject
Before we question the birthplace

Christine Bolton

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