ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE CHURCH O THE PINES is a 3-acre stand of red pines I call Preacher’s Grove. It was hit hard by a couple of windstorms the past few years. Within the stand of pines is an old box elder that was old long before we got here. I used to love to walk to it and see who was doing what in this combination restaurant and apartment house, as it served both functions. In the last week, I have been able to clear the downed pines around it and found it still standing, two small green shoots sprouting from the top, many an apartment and cafe nook still in use.
No, box elders are not prize-winning timber trees, especially when broken and battered by storms. But this is a great old tree, still hanging in there, still giving life to the world around it. I love it.