In my front yard there are three pear trees. Now I donít know if youíve ever seen a pear tree but they are very structured organisms. It has actually become part of their genetic code to grow in a large round shape, all the branches coming out form the trunk together, bowing outwards before leaning back in to make a point, which most gardeners then trim down to form a perfectly round tree.
The three trees in my front yard are all eleven years old, they all grew in the same soil, they received the same fertilizer, they were all trimmed at the same time, usually by the same person, and for awhile they all seemed to be growing at the same speed. Two of the trees are perfect. Their trunks are long and lean; not a knot in sight. They support branches that are smooth and an even brown color, bending outward at the middle, pressing towards all the neighboring houses before bending in and forming perfect tops. They only blossom in the spring, their white blossoms showing up beautifully against the azure blue of the sky in April, the new green of fresh leaves contrasting perfectly against all the other colors of spring; the ideal impressionist pallet.
The third tree sits dead in the middle of my yard and is the picture of defiance. Itís very existence goes against all pear tree conventions in a way that is so startling to me, sometimes I just have to stop and stare at it. Itís trunk is bent and crooked, bending right then left before becoming a mass of knots below where the branches start. The branches are long and ultimately skinny twisting every which way as though trying to reach out and touch everything around them, a few even seem to be sprouting straight form the trunk at a 90 degree angle; practically an anomaly for these trees
If this tree got the short end of the stick in the growth department, it must be considered seasonally challenged by the other trees in the neighborhood. It blooms at all different times of the year; once blossoming in December and losing all itís leaves in July. The beauty of fall in the middle of summer, a novelty sure, but something youíd want to experience every year? Probably not.
This unruly tree has none of the grace and simple beauty of the other two, with their smooth lines and perfect blooms, but it is beautiful, in a deeper and more unnerving way, a way I doubt the other two trees could ever achieve or understand. It stands tall not ashamed of what it looks like, proud that itís warped branches can offer us the shade the other two lack, proud of itís warped trunk and out of season molting.
If I were a tree I would want to be this one, in a yard where smooth and even is the norm. This tree stages a rebellion in the simplest and most effective form. It inspires me.