The Locust Tree

Far off in the distance a tree stood out in the open. A handful of its orange leaves waved at us across the gap and I told Mama I had never seen such a strange sight as autumn leaves in the summertime.

“The world is filled with many strange things. So many that you couldn’t count them all even if you wanted to. But its not the knowing of everything there is in the world so much as it is the imagining of everything there could be,” said Mama. I wasn’t sure I knew what she meant but her words seemed to bring me comfort.

Bitter, Sweet


By the roadside in East Dalhousie, a locust tree stands rooted deep into the ground. A spring breeze scatters its scent into the air leaving behind a thin, sweet trail. I resist the urge to run my fingers across its textured bark. Forty-nine years and I have yet to feel it beneath my fingertips. I don’t know why that it.

Kitchen knives and pieces of broken glass were tied around the trunk of that locust tree to protect it from feasting porcupines that frequented its branches at night. What a strange sight it seemed to me as a child.

Despite the owner’s fear the locust tree flourishes today, bigger and greener than ever before having outlived the owner who is no longer around to protect it. Written words are like that locust tree—- rooted deeply and continuing on long after we are gone.

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13 Comments

  1. Beautiful picture and words.

    Reply
  2. The pictures and the description is beautiful. Our son lives nearby and I’m constantly in awe of what a pretty place it is the entire time I’m there. I can’t imagine why anyone would ever leave the Maritimes. But I know work draws them away.

    Thanks for sharing this, Laura. It’s lovely.

    Reply
    • Yes, this is a beautiful area, Joylene and it seems the older I am the more I appreciate it. I guess there are reasons to celebrate the aging process after all…

      Reply
  3. I don’t think many of us consider the potential longevity of the words we write as we are creating them, but we should. Just as spoken words cannot be taken back once uttered, so too are our published words out there for all time. Long after we’re gone it’s possible we may be judged by what we’ve said and how we’ve said it. That’s a sobering thought! Makes me want to revise yet again. :)

    Thanks for the beautiful word picture.

    Reply
    • For a long time I’ve thought about the impact our words have. Although as you say, the spoken word cannot be taken back it is sometimes open to interpretation, sometimes forgotten or even changed along the way, but the written word has been recorded for all time. Hopefully they will be remembered in a positive way.

      Reply
  4. Thank you for a post that both inspires and cautions us. Though, like Carol said, I’m thinking I need to go back one more time over the first half of my novel I’ve just edited. :-?

    Reply
    • You are most welcome, Linda!!I’m glad the post made you think. When I wrote it I didn’t necessarily think of it in a cautionary way, though. I was thinking how wonderful an idea it was that our words would live on. I can see though, it is all in the interpretation and seeing something from different sides is always a good thing. So thank you, Linda!

      Reply
  5. I appreciate your thoughts, Laura. It is true that our words represent us in a way we don’t even realize, be they spoken or written. Remember the words of the childhood song? “be careful little mouth what you say”

    Our words can go very deep – like the roots of that tree – so I believe it is important that they be good words that nourish and encourage. I have not always considered that, but the older I get the more I am aware of my ‘testimony’ in this life.

    Reply
  6. I didn’t even need the picture; your words are so beautiful, so vivid, I could see, smell and feel them all. I cannot wait to read Bitter, Sweet. Is it possible to order from Amazon.ca if I’m in the U.S.? I don’t really want to wait until it’s released here if I don’t have to.

    Reply
    • That’s so sweet, Leah!

      Yes, apparently it can be ordered through Amazon.ca. I also noticed that it’s available in March through Amazon.com.

      Reply
      • I ordered Bitter, Sweet today. And just FYI for anyone else in the U.S., when purchased via Amazon.ca, the book costs about $10 more than the price listed on Amazon.com, which includes currency conversion and shipping. Hopefully I’ll have it within the next week or so.

        Reply

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