Silently a pavilion stands watch along a wintry hairpin curve of the Kanc (Kancamagus Highway).
Information displays about hiking in this Hancock Notch remain ready for the spring visitors
along with a map.
From under the pavilion’s overhang, you can see,
to the far right, the White Mountains, capped in snow, closer purpley hills are fading into green slopes, near trees lift brown and white branches with an occasional evergreen poking up. Just a few clouds float in the sea of powder to sky blue. It is a perfect sunny January day in northern New Hampshire.
The winds must be fierce much of the time…for the lone ash in the foreground has its branches pointing west…one is even wrapped around the side of the trunk. As the whole top is gone, one wonders about a bad ice blast or two in its lifetime as well. It reminds me of other trees ravaged by storms. Some, like this one near our home, seem almost lifeless.
My husband wrote a poem about another:
pen and ink by Joyce Paradis
Perhaps by Jim Hofford
The amputated tree lifts five stub branches
to the sky.
A starkly giant hand,
it seems to plead
with some Eternal Surgeon
for yet another try at life.
A painful sight to see,
this wounded creature of the earth,
without a tourniquet of hope.
Perhaps one day
the birds will rest again within its palm.
Perhaps they’ll nest
and bring bandages of birth.
Deep inside, who are those among us, so battered by words, that the brokenness within creates in them such as these trees? What are we doing about it?