Saturday, February 18, 2017

Here's Where The Healing Happens

We have a grove of sassafrass trees in our front yard.  Before moving to New Jersey I'd never heard of a sassafrass tree and now I'm responsible for several.
Sassafrass trees are native to this part of the country.  Their wood was at one time used for ship building and, oddly enough, for making toothbrushes.  The bark is used for flavor in root beer, tea, and Louisiana creole dishes.  We just use our sassafrass trees for amazement.
Actually, my responsibilities for these trees are minimal.  They can pretty much take care of themselves except for the big guy closest to the street and featured in this photograph.  The picture doesn't even come close to capturing its size and majesty.  The trunk's circumference is at least five feet and the branches reach skyward over seventy feet.  Our house, built in the early 1800s, was getting up in years before the Civil War started.  Our tree expert believes that this big sassafrass tree was around before the Revolutionary War began.  You might ask why we have a tree expert and so I'll tell you.  Years ago a good part of the tree's upper trunk sheared off and since I wanted to keep the tree healthy and living for as long as possible I called in an expert who declared the tree healthy but in need of trimming.  He and his crew cut off the upper trunk and trimmed some of the heavier branches.  Right now the trees are bare.  Come spring their branches will be full of leaves and the birds' nests will once again be hidden.
Trees such as this are gifts deserving appreciation and respect.  That's my main responsibility for this tree and it's grove friends.  I with honor assume that responsibility.
There are some holes in the tree's trunk where it is trying to heal old wounds.  I guess all of us are a lot like that big, old sassafrass tree.  We have  holes in our trunks where our healing happens.