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My Tree Grows in Grayson

This is a blog post about a tree, and the idea of beauty. You might want to skip it. It's kind of weird.

I drive by my favorite tree in all of Grayson on a daily basis. It's located near the Rosebud Road entrance to Bay Creek Middle School. Eleven months out of the year, it's a fairly non-descript tree; tall, green leaves (or no leaves), located right next to an oak or something. The oak tree has already started turning; it's leaves are reddish-golden, and will be orange by the time Halloween rolls around. When you drive by, you look right at and think of Fall.

My favorite tree, meanwhile, just bides it's time.

See, right now, it's in this funky transitional stage: the leaves are still green, but they've taken on a hue that can only be described as seeing HD in real life. The color is vibrant, and when sunlight strikes it, the air around the tree almost seems to get clearer. It's sad that you have to use TV as a simile for the real world, but the experience just defies description. Because in about a week's time, you'll behold colors that just don't appear that often around here.

See, the reason why this is my favorite tree in Grayson is, when its leaves start turning, they don't go the usual red-orange-brown route. These leaves go from a vibrant green to a near glorious yellow, a yellow that I can't even begin to describe in words. And once it changes, that yellow stays around for weeks, until nearly every leaf has left the branches and scattered to the winds. It's a transformation unlike any other tree around here, because of it's sheer brilliance.

From green to yellow in the most vivid, spectacular of colors. From yellow to barren. From barren to green. And so on.

This is a stupid post. I wholeheartedly recognize that. Not one person in Grayson really cares about my observations about a tree on Rosebud Road. Not when we're surrounded by a thousand other trees tricked out in the finest of Fall fashions. Honestly, when you can look around you and see color exploding everywhere, why should this one tree matter? So it's different. Big deal.

I guess why I'm writing about it is the fact that it takes me out of my daily routine when I drive by it. I've spent the last week or so anxiously looking to see if the leaves were beginning to turn. I've wasted precious minutes thinking about how to describe the way it looks. Even this morning, despite the fact that I've driven by that tree about 70 times, I still find myself staring at it, wondering why it changes the way it changes, why the colors are so stunning, why it is that I am fascinated by its existence.

Sure there's beauty all around. But not like this.

It's the rarity that makes it magnificent, the simplicity of its beauty. From one color to another in breathtaking fashion. Living in a world where beauty can often be a moving target (have you ever watched Top Model or Project Runway?), it's easy to get confused about what truly makes something beautiful; and in the confusion, it's easy to forget to look for beauty, because you don't know where to find it.

Enter my tree.

I know. I'm a weirdo, and I've now wasted moments of your life on a stupid tree. I wish I could put the feeling into words better. Perhaps the best way to end it all is to just say this:

Sometimes, I just needed to be reminded that simple beauty is magnificent too.

Maybe more so.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gail Lane October 25, 2012 at 03:59 PM
If the "up close" of the leaves is of that tree, Jason, it is a special tree for many reasons. It's Gingko Tree - a "living fossil" and that's very cool. When I was in high school, we learned that this is one of those trees that actually is either a male or female tree and while they "bloom", fruit is only produced if they can find each other - and after the tree matures (around 20 years old). Pretty cool. The reason we took a field trip one year in high school is that the lone tree on our campus began bearing fruit ... our job was to find the "male" tree within a particular radius because, honestly, none were known to our biology teacher. We found it on a side street about a mile from the high school - one of the BEST field trip/scavenger hunts EVER! And this time of the year, the chartreuse leaves are absolutely one of fall's beautiful colors.
Deanna October 25, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Jason, I don't think you're weird at all. If so, you're not alone as I, too, am watching this tree each time I pass by. I've also been known to take photos of it over the past several years. What is so amazing to me is it's just standing there doing its own thing but giving pleasure to so many other people. Another of God's gifts to us!
Jason Brooks October 25, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The pictures are of my tree, Gail, so that's really cool to know! And it's cool that they let y'all just go roaming about to look for a tree as a field trip. And that you actually walked to find it...
Brian Roos October 26, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I don't know why but years ago I didn't seem to like the color green. Maybe it was my years in the service, or maybe it was just a loss of focus in a very busy life. But in the early 90's, when the corporation I worked for had finally filled my bowl with broken promises, I learned to start "smelling the roses" and realized just how full of life the color green is. During my next airline flight, while gazing over our state in the bright sunlight, I noticed just how full of life this state really is! sure do enjoy looking around now!
Gail Lane October 26, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Back in the dark ages, before we had computers in the class room, research was done on foot! :)

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