My place to think is often in front of a window looking out over a bunch of trees. Because I live among trees. It was hard for me to learn that not everyone loves trees as much as I do.
My sister-in-law was visiting once and we were sitting in the yard surrounded by the evergreen forest when our talk turned to travel. I mentioned driving for hours and hours through Iowa corn fields until I thought I’d scream. I said, ‘You see one corn field, you’ve seen them all.’ She took one more look at the north woods we were sitting in and said, “Now you know how I feel about trees.”
I was in shock for hours. But that incident prepared me for a friend who’d grown up in North Dakota where there are probably one or two trees but if there are more I haven’t seen them. As we sat on a beach in the sun surrounded – again – by a forest of green, she admitted that she liked trees but that it had taken her a long time, years actually, to get used to them because growing up on the prairie she could see whatever was happening for miles around. “You can see the weather coming and do whatever you must to prepare for it before it arrives. You can see storms. You can see sunsets.” And so on.
I thought about her statement for a long time and the next time I went to Fargo on business I drove west far enough that I could see what she meant. And, yes, it was kind of nice.
But I still like trees.