The Sidewalk Tree

The other day I was walking home from the store when I came upon an abandoned Christmas Tree that was about 5-ft high with only a stray strand of tinsel remaining. It wasn’t on its’ side or resting in a ditch. It wasn’t in a garbage can or surrounded by bits and strands of cash. It was simply standing still, on the sidewalk, allowing its’ branches to be blown by the breeze, or perhaps waiting for a passerby would pick it up and give it a home– for a brief moment, I wanted to decorate the tree, and check on it every day to see how long it could stand as a symbol on the sidewalk rather than helpless on the sidewalk waiting for an end.

A symbol for what? For Christmas? For Christ? For chocolates and ham and all kinds of spice? That, I don’t know. What I do know is that the tree didn’t look sad out there on the sidewalk, like a mockup of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Nor did it look healthy like the Griswold’s tree. No, the tree looked like any other pine tree, belonging to the earth and there for our visual perusal and perhaps a few small birds (hummingbirds?) to nest. The tree wasn’t disappointed or judgmental, or out of place like a wallflower at an uncomfortable party. The tree was just a tree, without roots, without water. There, standing free on the sidewalk.

I’d like to think someone picked up this tree and brought it to a forest to plant and watch grow, but that’s wishful thinking. It was likely disposed of the next time the garbage men drove by, but that’s the natural cycle of these things.

Regardless, I captured it in one final photo and thought I’d share. Next year, we’ll see it’s older sibling in an apartment along Franklin Ave. and have yet another Christmas where the tree will mean something different, but equally important, to the family which adopts it for that short amount of time.



One comment on “The Sidewalk Tree

  1. Pete says:

    Is a Christmas tree a Christmas tree if it is inside a house or standing alone on the pavement? Does it feel neglected when we are done with it and discard it? What is the sound of one tree crying as it stands alone on the sidewalk?

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