Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Magic Tree

Jilda named the dogwood in our front yard The Magic Tree. We've kept (babysat) our nieces and nephews for years, and now we're keeping their children. Kids are like sponges. You can entertain them for a while with painting, building monsters with Playdough, playing go fish, and doing crafts, but then you must get them outside and run them ragged to deplete some of their energy or they'll drive you up a wall.

Early on, Jilda came up with this idea that the kids would enjoy.  While climbing The Magic Tree, she conjured up stories on the spur of the moment that kept them intrigued. I'm not sure if it was that they got a chance to test their skills and courage climbing, or if they enjoyed the stories she told, but the combination seems to have resonated. Even the grown kids call the dogwood The Magic Tree.

This evening when I walked, I paused to get my breath for a moment on the tailgate of my truck.

I looked over at the setting sun on the branches of the dogwood and realized what a beautiful tree it is. Even with the leaves and the berries long gone, it stands in our yard like a sentinel. It's one of the biggest dogwoods I've ever seen. My father-in-law planted it in the 1970s when he moved here with Jilda's mom.

In a month or so when the angle of the sun shifts and the days get warmer, the leaves will peek out, followed by the buds and then the blossoms that look like objects d'art carved from bone.

When the blossoms fall, the tree provides shades for our cars from the brutal summer sun. Then in autumn when the leaves fall, it has tiny red berries. 

As I watched the light fade from the branches this evening, I thought to myself, this IS a magic tree. 


  1. Wow Rick, It does look like a big tree. It must be absolutely gorgeous when in full bloom. Why haven't you shared it's full beauty with us? I would so enjoy seeing the whole tree in it's splendor when it blooms next time.... Please...

    Lucky Jordan to climb the magical tree.


  2. The tree is awesome, how wonderful that generations of children in your family have and do enjoy it :-)

  3. I recall a magic tree when I was a kid. It was in our front yard and I sat in it for hours.

  4. All trees are magical, some just more than others.

    Excellent post!

    1. Anonymous2:46 PM

      I agree with BOTH of Joe's comments!!

  5. I had a magic tree on the trails where we used to play. My name is carved in it. Something silly, I would talk to it and swear that's what made the leaves move as if it was responding back to me. I was 7.

  6. Love having my Grands....and love having them to go outside and play and climb.
    This is a lovely photo!

  7. It looks a truly magical tree!!!x

  8. I will often see a tree that catches my eye and stop to commune with it. Each tree has its own character and it can be easy to connect. Your Magic Tree is projecting its character.

  9. Some of the most satisfying times of my life have been spontaneous stories for kids. I can easily visualize Jilda telling the stories as the kids cling to the magic tree. It is a talent one is blessed with having that ability.
    I can always visualize as I read your descriptions, this time of course was a tree, the Dogwood, one of my favorites. ;-)

  10. What a great idea. Every kid should have a magical tree !

  11. I have never seen such a big dogwood tree!
    This line is precious: "you must get them outside and run them ragged to deplete some of their energy or they'll drive you up a wall." So true.


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