Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Being Taken for Granted No More

For all the time I spend in Central Park, I spend very little of it appreciating the trees. Sure in the spring or fall when the trees have magical, fleeting bursts of color, I privately marvel at them but never stop.

Almost a year ago, one gray, just rained August morning, I found myself at a tree crime scene in the park. A huge storm, what the news called gale force winds (but in the midwest I think are known as tornados), ravaged the trees at the top of resevoir. It looked like the aftermath of a Middle Earth war where all the talking tree people lost.

For the first time, the runners in the park had to stop for the trees as branches and hundred year old tree trunks littered trails and paths leaving small half foot spaces to climb through in some areas. The destruction saddened me because I like the idea that those same trees which gave shade to myself had once shadowed the likes of great New Yorkers: Jackie Onassis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, and so forth. But if trees could talk, we’d hope they weren’t gossips.

To commemorate that arboreal carnage and the rich history of the Central Park Trees, New York Magazine has posted a slide show of these stoic giants. If you have a moment, stop and appreciate those beautiful trees and the interesting history which they have been both a part of and silent observer.

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