Life’s a Birch

I was sitting in an office waiting. There was a painting of a forest of birch trees on the wall.

I noticed that birch trees always have so many knots on their trunk, like they’re falling apart and losing branches right and left. Either it’s bad construction, or they’re the laziest trees ever and simply get tired of holding their branches up. If I was a bird I would only build a nest in a birch tree if I was pinched for cash and needed a place to stay. Even the bark has given up and started turning itself into paper. It’s like birch trees don’t really know what they want to do with themselves. What’s the point of being a tree anyways? Yeah, I get it, you’re supposed to grow and get tall… but why? Is there an optimal height that all trees are trying to reach? Because the taller you get, the easier it seems to snap in half in the middle of a storm, or lose your roots in a flood. Why not reach a modest, respectable height, and stop? Are you really going to benefit from being taller if you just keep dropping branches along the way? They are what built you up in the first place, so how do you think that makes them feel? You sacrifice what you consider to be dead weight just so you can sprout a few more leaves closer to the sun.

What I liked about this painting is that it didn’t show the tops of the trees. It only showed the trunks and the forest floor. All the branches were gone, but everyone could see the knots, the scars left on the trees.

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39 thoughts on “Life’s a Birch

  1. Well, it seems that the taller a guy gets, the more he gets laid, so…maybe the wind is like foreplay to a birch. It’s all fun and games until something gets snapped off.

  2. lizpurvis says:

    I like that last line. “…the scars left on the trees.” Very nice.

  3. Wonderful post, I’m so glad I found it! I love birch trees, really love them, in the way that I can feel it in my stomach when I see them (perhaps because I’ve left my home country Sweden and don’t see that many birches anymore). So yes, for me life is definitely a birch, in positive and negative sense. Thank you sooo much for these enjoyable tree thoughts!

  4. benzeknees says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate here – but the reason birch trees keep growing taller is because they get their food from the sun. If they didn’t grow taller, something else might block out the sun & cut off their food source. They shed branches & bark to conserve their energy for growing closer to their food. I love the look of birch trees & having lived in the bush for a lot of years, it’s kind of nice to know there will always be birch deadfall to fill up your fireplace or outdoor wood furnace.

    • ah. thank you. I learned something very important today about plant behavior (the key word there being ‘behavior’).
      Thanks for the insight. And don’t worry, you ain’t the advocate to any devil. Just providing some good convo :)

      • Lynda says:

        Hahahaa, I love how you think! Thank you for visiting me today, and for the follow. Oh yes, and am I the only one left on earth who doesn’t know what “convo” means? ‘-)

        • well if that’s the case than it’s in your best interest to never learn that word. Otherwise you’ll lose a convo piece at cocktail parties.
          “did you know I’m the only person who doesn’t know what ‘convo’ means?”
          “fascinating!”
          (the convo continues)

  5. jacheree says:

    Fabulous thoughts on birch trees. :) You make many valid points.

  6. sitateofani says:

    this made my day =) i could imagine the random thoughts suddenly popped up out of a painting
    thanks for following my blog, hope you would enjoy as much i seem to be going to enjoy yours
    have a fantastic day!

  7. musing5225 says:

    I love the knotted parts of trees. They seem to tell stories of earlier parts of their lives. Although, I don’t have particularly strong feelings about birch, it was fun to read :-)
    Also, thanks for following my blog!

  8. fibee5 says:

    I never really thought of this before. Though i did find myself feeling like a birch tree, especially when I read the last line ‘All the branches were gone, but everyone could see the knots, the scars left on the trees.’

  9. Birches are very graceful trees, their branches delicately sway, their leaves flutter. And in winter their white bark adds stark interest to the landscape.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I like this post. I guess because I like trees. Almost every painting I’ve done focuses on trees. Love your humor. I feel that way about a lot of inanimate objects. Thanks so much for the “follow”. I’m new to blogging and getting traffic is the hardest part. I work SO hard so I’m thrilled when someone as taken notice. Thanks again. I’ll be checking in on you often. (Forgot to ask, was there a picture? I couldn’t find it.)

  11. Here’s a birch tree with a really big knot: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/sad-things-4-sick-tree/ That can’t be healthy.

  12. EagleAye says:

    This is really funny and cleverly written. I’m gonna look at birch trees in the future and smile, a little more than before.

  13. babso2you says:

    My most favorite part of the tree is that which most do not notice. You do!

    Thank you for signing up to follow my blog! I hope that you will enjoy my posts! If you search “bark” you will see the barks of many amazing trees! Thanks again! – B

  14. Hi! I nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Please go to http://gettingridofboredom.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/my-ray-of-sunshine/ to get more info. Hope you accept it. :)

  15. Maybe scars really are the price we pay to grow, who knows?

  16. This is one of the reasons I really like blogging: I get to read good, creative, worthwhile posts like this one. I really liked this. And thank you for for visiting Wilder Man On Rolling Creek. I will be following your post, and I look forward to checking in. By the way you finished up this post was something that was refreshing: “What I liked about this painting is that it didn’t show the tops of the trees. It only showed the trunks and the forest floor. All the branches were gone, but everyone could see the knots, the scars left on the trees.” Peace, Tim

  17. Sounds like life ;)

  18. kelihasablog says:

    Oh I love this! What a wonderful and unique way to tie (sp?) in the llok and characteristics of the birch trees… as well as the birds… LOL. My favorite part: “It’s like birch trees don’t really know what they want to do with themselves. What’s the point of being a tree anyways?” :D

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