Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The pride of Pendle Hill's tree-filled campus is a 300-year-old American Beech behind the main house. Of course the fact that it's well known makes it a target for amorous knife wielders, so its bulging thigh-like limbs are covered as high as a person can climb in declarations of love from decades past. When I look at the carvings - C.F. + M.L., Carrie loves Elaine, Tom + Alice 82 - I'm struck by how different they are from the grafitti on walls and sidewalks and bathroom doors. Nobody carves "CJ wuz here" or "Philly Kings" in a tree. It's no quick scrawl with a sharpie or an aerosol can knowing it'll be gone with the next coat of paint - you have to be determined to carve something in a tree, and it will in all likelihood outlast the relationship you're memorializing. I regret the scars on this leafy giant, but the tree carvings give me a kind of hope for humanity. What people really put effort into, it seems, is love.

No comments: