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  • Writer's picturerobertkruge

The Giving Tree

Updated: Apr 2

July 10, 2018 -


One of my favorite books to read to my children was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The illustrated book, published in 1962, tells the story of the relationship between a tree and a boy. Throughout the boy’s life the tree provides all his needs as they change from year to year. Which gives the boy and the tree pleasure. At long last, the tree has no more to give; she is spent. But so is the boy, now an old man. In the last scene, the tree offers her residual stump as a place of refuge for the tired old man to sit and rest. She and the old man are happy.

My wife, Ana Maria, has turned this fable on its head. She is building up a “tree” from a plastic “stump”. Her tree is constructed from bark harvested from a real cork tree, and strung over a vertical pipe. She intends this tree to be a place of refuge for her orchid “children”.

She has placed this tree in her greenhouse and has attached a variety of epiphytes in hope they will grow and prosper. She has given them a home. She waters them. She fends off infestation. She gives them what they need to thrive and be happy. In short, she nurtures them.

Here, she is carefully mounting one of her children. She is happy.

I have dubbed this her Giving Tree.

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