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    Tree Hugs

    “There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”

    Minnie Aumonier

    Yesterday, we got our Christmas tree, and she’s a beauty.  Perhaps not because of her shape or size, but because of how Pip taught me to look at her.

    What amazed me about our tree-hunting adventure, was how Pip became immediately and deeply attached to one particular tree.  It was a gorgeous, sunny Sunday and we had taken our little family to a lovely Christmas-tree-farm off of Knight Road.  We were greeted by China the dog, then her owner gestured toward some hand-saws and let us through the gate to the field.

    Initially Pip said, “I want to find the littlest tree, like in the book.”  There is indeed a book we like to read called, “Little Tree,” by e.e.cummings, and Pip was on a mission to find a tree that was similar to the illustrations in her beloved book.  Fig found a specimen so small it didn’t even warrant a price tag!  It was more like a twig, but the girls liked the looks of it.  After Big Daddy-O and I had a good chuckle,  I explained that the tree wouldn’t be able to hold even one of our Christmas ornaments.  We continued our search.

    Perhaps a minute had passed when Pip ran straight toward a somewhat sparse-looking tree and yelled, “This one Mama!  Let’s get this one!”  My husband quickly dismissed it, due to its’ lack of bushiness, and he and Fig carried on their way.  “Mama, this tree will be so sad if we don’t get it.  Nobody else will take it home.”

    I could just imagine the tree saying, “Hey kid, if nobody takes me home it means I GET TO LIVE!!!”  So MOVE ALONG!”

    I looked at the tree.  It was nice, but I couldn’t figure out why it was so appealing to Pip.  I checked the price.  It was more than we had wanted to spend, so apparently Pip had expensive taste in trees.   “Why do you like this one, Pip?”

    “Because it’s branches are reaching down to hug me.”

    I wasn’t expecting that one.   As Pip embraced the tree, I realized that the branches did look rather inviting.  Soft; not prickly.  Still, we hadn’t been at the farm for very long, so I took Pip’s hand and told her that we might come back to this spot, but I wanted to see more trees.  I started to move, but she pulled away from me and stayed with the tree.

    “Mama!!!” Pip started to cry,  “we have to get this tree!”  Damn.  The fact that Pip was now crying was precisely the reason why I could not tell her we’d get the tree.  I had to help her calm down.

    “Pip, I know that you love this tree, and there is a chance we will take it home if the whole family agrees, but crying is not going to help.  Let’s go and find Dad and Fig and we can make a family-decision.  We can always come back to this tree.”  Pip pulled it together; she wiped her eyes, told her new pal that she’d be right back, and took my hand.

    After we’d walked a few metres, I was compelled to look back and make sure I’d be able to spot the tree again.  I could just imagine Pip running hysterically through the serene farm, screaming, “WHERE’S MY TREE??? I CAN’T FIND MY TREE!!!”

    I needn’t have worried; it was easy to spot.  It was as though the tree’s energy had altered now that I had seen my daughter talk to it and hug it and basically, bring it to life.  There was some powerful, mystical sort of tree-illumination thing happening and there wasn’t a light in sight.

    As Pip and I walked toward the rest of our family, I scrutinized every single tree, but they all paled in comparison.  I realized that I was with Pip; I liked her tree.  We met up with Fig and Big Daddy-O and he pointed out a few front-runners… “What about this one?” he’d ask, and I’d shake my head and provide a critical review.

    Pip had been a good sport.  She wasn’t crying or whining, so I told Big-Daddy-O that I thought Pip had already found a pretty special tree.  Pip shone her little tree-hugging face up in my direction.  “Follow me Dad!”  Pip tore through the maze of green, directly into the waiting branches of her tree.

    We all stood around ‘The Tree-Hugged’, and agreed that it was meant to celebrate Christmas with us.  Not because it was the right height, or bushiness, or because the branches were strong enough to hold ornaments, but because we were all fortunate enough to see the tree through Pip’s eyes.

    tree love

    5 comments to Tree Hugs

    • Allison

      That is a beautiful, amazing, lucky tree that obviously fell in love with your little girl. Give it the best Christmas ever.

    • Aurora

      What a sweet, lovely adventure at the tree farm and beautifully told Karen. When I think of similarities between yourself and Pip, this appropriate adage comes to mind – “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!”

    • Karen

      Allison, I like your way with words! We will do our best to give our tree a great Christmas. It’s getting a lot of attention as the girls take the ornaments off, play with them, and put them back on the tree numerous times throughout the day. It’s hilarious. We had to re-pack the breakable items after the first ten minutes of ‘trimming;’ too many broken balls!

      And Aurora, what a sweet thought. Thank you for that.

    • Diana

      I loved it. I can almost imagine the beautifully illustrated book that this story will become for next Christmas. Your blog is a restive and reflective part of my day. I miss your daily writings!

    • Karen

      Wow. I so respect your opinion Diana, and you’ve just made my day. Thank you.

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