Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Palms versus Pines

The pine trees in my "woods" on our property. The ones still standing after DH eradicated approximately 26 trees that he deemed too close to the house. Pine trees are known to snap, crack, split, drop limbs and so forth. They tend to be inflexible and do not always weather storms very well. Pines tend to leave a "big mess" when tossed to and fro. In defense of the pine tree, they are majestic, regal, familiar, true and evergreen. Plus the needles make great baskets!

The lovely palms of St. Augustine, Florida. Palms weather storms by bending and swaying.
The palms are graceful under the onslaught of high winds, rain, floods and the tropical storms and hurricanes rampant in coastal areas of the world.
My friend Jayne having lived on the coast most of her adult life, of course, loves palm trees! She recently posted about palm trees and we also had a discussion about trees, nature and the many, many topics we find ourselves discussing on our Saturday excursions. She mentioned that she would like " to be graceful, bending, swaying, and flexible in order to weather all the storms of my life." I frequently think about the pines in my yard and how they snap and break at the slightest provocation. How they loose their needles and do not withstand storms very well and how often I resemble the pines as I am forever loosing my needles! I have always loved palm trees from the very first vision of them as a young child moving to a new country. I relate to them being graceful, swaying and bending. The palms lift up their skirts during the storms like a true southern belle implying that whatever forces or adversity served their way will be weathered with grace, dignity and a certain aplomb! Each time I view the palms in the midst of severe storms, I want to bounce back intact just like that! So Jayne, thanks for the reminder! I am striving to embrace the wonderful qualities of both the palm and the pine in a healthy balance. So are you in balance...are you more palm like or more pine like?
P.S. I will be getting up close and personal with the sand, sea, and palms for an extended weekend Friday. WOOHOO...color me happy! Plus I "get to" play in the sand with my grandchildren. Jayne, hopefully Kristi, and a few others will be meeting at the beach for our henna tattoos, shopping and a glorious fun time!!!


Jayne said...

I could go on and on and on and on (see what I mean?) about various trees and their virtues and the lessons we could learn from them. Friday afternoon DH and I went to visit one of his daughters who lives in Columbia. Their house is surrounded by these lovely tall pine trees, and as we were walking to the door, there were fresh looking pine needles everywhere, even on top of the shrubs. What a mess it appeared to be at first. But then we both noticed how terrific their beds looked with the pine straw that fell into them on a daily basis, quite unlike ours that are dried out and sort of gray looking. So anyway, even trees that snap and break aid in prettifying lawns. They smell good too. Oh, and let's don't forget those great pine cones and all of the turkey decorations we can make for Thanksgiving.

I'm up for Saturday! Let's make sure to take some photos of the many types of palms there.

Anonymous said...

What lovely, memorable metaphors for the human spirit. John & I both love pine trees and talk about them quite often. Their seemingly infinite array of boughs and bark, needles and cones. The fresh smell they bring, their shade. When we went to Atlanta for the first time last year, I was amazed to see pine needles being used almost exclusively as mulch. Up north, you never see that - except for the natural litter of the forest floor. A very creative (re)use of resources! We are much less familiar w/ palm trees. Just seeing them in photos makes my mind drift to warm days lazing in the sun - with fruity umbrella-ed drinks of course! Ooooh, hope you have a wonderful time this weekend! Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting!

Rosezilla said...

I love pine trees. I used to climb to the tippy top of my favorite and sway in the wind - that was a LONG time ago, but one never forgets such freedom. I also make little pine needle baskets and stuff. But they are very prone to exploding when lightning hits them, and termites are particularly fond of them too. I also love palm trees, and one blessing of living in Florida is seeing lots of the graceful things.