[Excerpt from my journal for my Adventures of Writers Who Walk class (Yes, that is a real class). January 14, 2013. The prompt was to go outside and find an example of nature in our urban context.]
I have a fondness of trees in a row, instilled in me by my father. They catch my attention the same way glittering tackle draws in a fish: they lure me in, and before I know it, I’m hooked.
There are two sets of trees in a row on campus, and I have had the pleasure of enjoying a close proximity to them via the location of my dorm and classes. The trees that line Belmont Blvd outside of the Curb Cafe acted as comrades during my first months at Belmont. I saw them twice a week on my way to the Black Box Theater for tap class (I promise I’m taking real classes, too). They were thick and green when I first met them on those last, long days of summer, and as I changed and adapted to my new surroundings, those trees did, too. They dropped heavy raindrops on my head when fall was introduced, and after a long time, these structured trees planted by man, orderly changed colors. There was hardly a transition period. One day I was surprised to be greeted by their bright orange smiles. When I came back from Thanksgiving break, however, the orange leaves had been shaken off and lay softly blanketed around the trunks. As is fitting to the diligent Belmont grounds staff, the happy leaves were quickly cleared from the sidewalk, leaving my now dear friends naked and cold. I anticipate the spring and wonder what colors will begin to bud on those forlorn branches. I foresee white.
The other set of trees so dear to my memory have the same color history, but their stature is grander and more majestic. A true instance of trees in a row, these mighty soldiers stand erect and proud as they line the entryway to the Maddox Grand Atrium. They are hauntingly enchanting, particularly at night when they are lit up from the trunks. These living statues have made me take pause in my anxious state to appreciate the attempt at glorifying nature as best as we can.