The silent ways of the linden tree

My dearest linden tree,

Writing to you is like writing to myself but not just because we were born and planted on the same day. All of my childhood memories and now all of my adult life’s experiences are identified with you. Whenever I find myself resting under the shadow of your leaves or simply gazing at your stiff bark, I succumb to your peaceful silence. No worries for you if something goes wrong in the world outside your perimeter of being. No suffering if someone makes unreasonable demands on you. You live to produce and give your sedative flowers. Soothing us, giving us back our peace, our silence.

Today is one of your noisy days. Bees from everywhere are visiting you to exploit your blossoms. I am not sure what your response would be if you could speak. From time to time, I see a bee or two falling to the ground too inebriated from nectar consumption. Maybe you had your say. Your agitation won’t last long. Your flower collection will put an end to your busy days. And then both you and I can claim back our days of silence.

My daughter always looks at you in awe. She cannot understand why, if we share the same birthday, you are so much taller than I am or how come you are so much higher than our family house. I tell her that’s what linden trees do. When we spend all of our time doing unnecessary things, you dedicate your time to outlive us. My son likes to swing from branch to branch. I trust you with his safety. Your branches are too thick to even bend. However, my father will not let us hang a rope for a swing. He does not want to hurt you on a passing whim. Your usefulness starts and ends with the offer of your presence which should be more than enough.

I wish you had your leaves on all year long for my own selfish reasons. The leaves you shed every fall cover the whole veranda area, still I would rather let them be swept away by the wind than remove them myself. It’s middle fall. The very sight of your barren branches makes me shiver. Time for linden tea! One cup makes me drowsy. Two cups restore the silence of my ways. Here’s to you my dearest linden tree!

Angela Ypsilanti.