How many trees can you count?
” Trees are silent witness of our time, withstanding the storms and tragedy of life.”
Around fifteen years ago, we lived at Cainta, Rizal. The lot my parents bought there, had a tall tree in front (they called Puno ng Patay; the Wallowing Bottle Brush Tree). As people reprimand me from climbing that tree.
Translations: “Puno ng Patay” Tree of the Dead
It has dark trunk, the outer bark of the trunk looked like a wrinkled veins. The leaves of the tree has sharp edge, I remembered the times I played with it, I hurt myself several times if I hit myself accidentally. The contradicting thing about that tree, it has a bright red featherly flower.
The Weeping Willow Callistemon Citrinus. It’s weird just for an Austrailian tree to grow and planted mostly every small alley in Karangalan Village Gate 2. Cainta, Rizal. But it looks somehow like Grandmother Willow in Pocohontas (http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Grandmother_Willow).
During the rainy season, all it’s flowers bloomed. If you can picture out cherry blossom season in Japan; our tree of the dead has the same effect, it can make the entire street flood with bright featherly flowers. I know we lived at Cainta, but the colors, makes me think that I lived in a foreign country. I can remember our neighbors spend a lot of time, sweeping those featherly flowers once scattered on the ground.
It’s difficult to climbed, the trunk was slim but very strong; but the branches I can use to hold-on were ten-twelve feet above the ground. The only way I can get to the top and for it’s leaves, was to climbed on our third floor and reach-out for it’s leaves.
My arms’ length were short, people who see me do this were afraid that I might loose my balance and fall. It never happened. It seems the tree was reaching back to me, with the help of the wind. I was just waiting for the right time for the wind to blew to my direction. This willow tree was always generous to give me it’s leaves and flowers to play with. It shield us, the same goes to our Guava tree on the right side of our room with big windows.
It withstands storms, flood and Pinatubo’s eruption, the tree remained standing firm.
They never failed to remind me, (They said: Akyat ka ng akyat, Puno ng patay yan; akala ko tuloy cementeryo na naman yung bahay namin).
Translation: You keep on climbing the tree of the dead. I thought we transferred in a neighborhood, which used to be a graveyard.
The height remained the same after twenty years. The funny thing about it, I never seen that tree anywhere else except in Karangalan Village Gate 2, Cainta Rizal. Only few trees survived, I think it’s only in our alley, that those trees remain standing.
The Guava tree that we planted, grew taller after some years. The Avocado seed, that I threw at front of our door, but inside out very small backyard, grew after some weeks. Later-on, I was asked to transfer my avocado tree somewhere else. I put it at the front our yard, a few steps, away from our electric meter post. Then few months later it grew again uncontrollably; making the electric guy having the hard time, to squeeze himself in between the tree I planted, and our electric meter, as every month he reads our electric usage. They eventually have to cut it down.
In General Trias, Cavite; we still have natural setting, in our neighborhood. When we first transferred here, my parents planted a fortune plant. This seems to be our unconscious family tradition. My Dad loves gardening, he grew-up with “Bongavilla” fence in Old Sta. Mesa Manila. While my mother lived in a farmer’s house filled with fruits and vegetables plants in Ipil-Ipil, Belsion, Antique.
Now that I’m twenty-nine years old; I got to fulfill this unconscious family tradition as gift to my future friends. It seems, that most sincere intentions, is the most difficult agenda to execute. It feels amazing to plant a tree for special people, and think of the day it will grow big, strong and full of life. It makes you feel, that those people whom you offer those trees embodies the same growth and the kind relationship we want from them.
I planted my own tree; picture. I will share the funny story of being a tree planter on my next blog.