Wednesday, May 12, 2010


WALKING along a boardwalk in some wetlands, I heard a delighted cry of: "Fairies!" I'd never seen this before, but the silky fluff surrounding the seeds falling from above could only come from the cottonwood tree. We couldn't actually see which tree they came from, the canopy above was so high and dense.

With a lifespan of often over 100 years, cottonwoods must see a lot of seasons pass. It is said that those travelling the prairies always welcomed the sight of a cottonwood, for it meant water was close by. These noble trees have inspired poets, storytellers and muses. I would like to hear the Native American story about a curious little star that hid in a cottonwood tree so it could always be near the people on earth and listen to their beautiful music, their laughter, and the kind words they say to one another. As for the children, they busied themselves collecting curved dried magnolia petals and filling them with cotton fluff to make little beds for woodland creatures.

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