Royal Tree

DHEC stream team with Wingate University interns at Thompson Creek

Everything is beautiful if you look close enough. Many people dislike the winter months due to the cold temperatures and early nights, but as the leaves fall to the ground and the trees stand bare, so much is revealed we could never see before. I do not just mean the branches and tree trunks, but the way the branches curve into one another, the way they paint a picture in the canopy, the way wind brings the pictures to life as branches dance to the beat of winter; the details.

Today I found something special, hidden away all summer. Along Halfmoon Trail sits a tree that has been there longer than I have been alive. The tree is tucked back off the pathway and usually covered by underbrush, its beauty hidden all year round. With the brush gone and the leaves fallen, I saw the tree for what it really was, a work of art. Covered in extravagant markings from natural events, insects, woodpeckers, and other creatures, the tree resembled a mural of graffiti painted on by nature and time. I studied the tree for a few minutes looking closely at the shapes, curves, and lines. When I reached the top. I audibly gasped – a face. The face of royalty, adorned with a crown. A face that would have remained undiscovered had winter never come.

Tree Face Comparison

Tree Face Comparison - Click for larger sized image.

My imagination ran wild – an entire tree kingdom ruled by this tree. Whole universes created, battles fought, and legends told in the blink of an eye. Looking at the face, I felt as if I had just finished talking with an old friend. A feeling of comfort and excitement. As kids, so many of us spent hours playing outside with the trees which never failed to provide us with our swords, wands, and fortresses. We would enter other universes, take over kingdoms, and have magical powers. Today I felt that feeling again, the magic of nature, the wonder. When was the last time you picked up a stick and pictured it as a wand, a sword? When was the last time you found joy in the face of a tree? When was the last time you took a closer look…  

Author: Brianna Bergamini