A friend of mine likes trees and knows that I do as well. We drink beer in my backyard and look up at the red oaks and pecans which surround us...what kind of oak is that again? Beer yes, but also talking about trees, I notice, shifts his demeanor. As if talking about trees is the closest thing to being among trees. When he talks about finance his demeanor returns to its normal state.
He shares some of the particulars of how he cares for the trees on his land, and how - he confesses - he might over-prune them because he just can't leave them alone. He wonders in the evening on his porch which tree might be his favorite. He asks if I have a favorite tree. (I think I do and it's either a cypress on Church Street or it's a Mexican Plum which I planted with my daughter in our backyard and which will begin blossoming any day now.) It's a great question I plan on throwing at people whenever I'm nervous.
There is something, and it could be trees, that we find to be an overlooked and quiet joy. When given the chance we discuss it (or paint it) in such a way that turns us into poets. For my mother it is college and the semester she spent abroad in Europe in 1960. Ask either of my children about which shoe brands are the best. And see my wife about tap dancing and snowboarding.
I have favorite places in this town where I live. "Thin places" as some describe, but I'm not sure about the other worlds. Oh, and I'm not in Ireland. Nor because it's the best taco or bbq. Just ordinary beauty that waxes when I try too hard to describe it in words.