Do trees have ambitions? I know that they want to reproduce and this spring Jack sneezed that he was tired of arboreal lust. Does each redwood try to outreach its neighbors in the race for the sky? Does the maple on the corner think it can produce more beautiful leaves in autumn than any other tree on the block? Does the oak in the park spread its limbs as far as possible to provide more shade than its rivals.
This past weekend one of the Susie trees in Riverfront succeeded in one of my ambitions for it. I went downtown on Sunday to watch a bit of Spokane’s Hoopfest. I wandered from game to game on the streets and then into the park to see what slacklining looks like. It was hot and I only watched for a few minutes asI turned to walk back through the park there was the Hardy Rubber Tree planted in 2008 to honor pedestrians hit or killed. It has grown enough to provide shade. The family of four looked very comfortable in that still small bit of shade. I wish I’d remembered my camera. (I went back on July 5 and took a picture of the shadow at a different angle.) Good job, little tree! Now it needs to keep working on one of my ambitions for all the Susie trees: To fulfill the potential of their species and to become Heritage Trees in their communities.
What are some of my other ambitions for these trees? I want these trees to be important to the people who planted with me and I want the trees to hold on to the hopes, dreams and memories written on the tree-grams hung in them.