The Giving Tree Book

Ever since reading Shel Sliverstein’s heartbreakingly poignant story of The Giving Tree as a little girl, I have been enchanted.  If I’ve climbed it, planted it, dangled or swung from a swing hung from its arms, it has captivated me. The drooping branches of my best friend’s weeping willow became a grand mansion. The roots of the giant oak in the school-yard gave shelter to a gaggle of girls marooned on an uncharted island. The walnut tree in the backyard of my grandma’s house beckoned me to scale her gnarled trunk and rest in the firm cradle of her branches. The California Redwoods gave flight to fancies of fairies, nymphs and dryads. I have a love affair with trees.

Thanks to The Giving Tree, I have been a practitioner of personification with many of the significant trees in my life. The tree that held my first tire swing was a beautiful, nurturing, graceful woman who offered wise counsel to me as I drifted back and forth beneath her lush canopy of green. Grandma’s walnut tree was a giraffe on the Savannah gently loping across the tall grass carrying me on her back. The most enchanting trees of all, the California Redwoods, have been ambassadors of their race, reaching with their magnificent beauty into my soul and captivating me for all eternity.

I have trees of my own now. Planted with love on our little plot of land. Some bless us with their fruit, some put on a show for us year after year with their vibrant colors. These trees help mark the history of my little family. On the first day of school each year, I photograph my daughter in front of the pomegranate tree we planted for her sixth birthday.  We watch our daughter grow and blossom and the tree mirrors her rhythm.

Our Giving Tree

My favorite tree is the Liquid Amber living in our backyard. When I watch my daughter swing in her branches, the tree shakes with delight. She’s like a guardian, a playmate, and a friend. In autumn she releases her golden leaves in a cascade of color with every swish of the swing my husband hung from her branches. In winter, she shows off her intricate form in shadows cast by the low-lying sun. She can’t wait to explode with new life every spring and burst her new leaves almost overnight – excited for summer when her family will be spending more time under her shade, enjoying her gift of her cool shelter. She has heard our stories and she keeps our confidences. She even permits herself to be a scratching post for the family cat. She is our giving tree, and she makes us happy.

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7 thoughts on “Trees are Givers

  1. One of my students proudly showed me a copy of the book he checked out of the library today…Shel Silversteins, “The Giving Tree.” I have always loved that story and other writings of his. Thanks for making it all alive for me again. Love to you and your family.

  2. I was just thinking about how I wish we had a tree in our yard that a swing could hang from. Sadly enough, we don’t. So glad you have had so many wonderful memories with one of God’s great creations.

  3. Hi Victoria –

    I love this post so much. Your recalling of Shel Sliverstein’s book is much like my blog last week about me as a little boy, hanging around by the river with my “grandpa.” Thank you for this wonderful blog post. Happy Saturday to you. 🙂

    1. Thank you!!! I just popped over to read your “Three Old Men” post and loved it! You are right they are similar. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who sees it this way! Happy Saturday to you too!

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