Trees We’ll Never See

A few weeks ago my wife requested a landscaper’s estimate to remove six or seven trees from the back of our property. They’ll have to knock down a few lengths of perimeter fencing so they can get their big equipment through, and they’ll make several trips to the dump with all of the branches and stumps they’ll pile up.

It’s time for some of these to go

But when all’s said and done my wife will have the blank canvas she wants for a future riding arena for her horses.  Minus a few trees, of course.

The neighbor lady won’t be happy because she’s all about keeping the trees,  She drops hints here and there about “leaving things the way God intended”.  She also doesn’t seem to mind the endless waste the trees generate, whether falling leaves from the oaks or cones and needles from the pines. But here’s what I want to say to her. First, we have over forty trees on our property (and thousands in the community) so losing six is just a needle in the haystack. Second, we’ll replace those trees over time, in other areas of the property. We’re already making plans to switch out the rose bushes in our driveway circle for a Flowering dogwood.

Future Dogwood

I can still hear the neighbor lady pleading, “Dave, do you know how long those trees have been standing back there?”  Why yes, good neighbor, I’m sure some of them have been around a hundred years.  But just like the ones that came down so our house could be built, it’s time to get rid of a few more.  You sort of make an agreement with the forest when you live in it.  Let me take down a few of your trees and in return I’ll care for the ones that remain.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant, the well-known Christian singer (and most recent recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors), just released her latest single.  It’s perfect for the start of spring.  Trees We’ll Never See is a gentle, lilting ballad about the brevity of human life.  The song covers a lot of ground in its few verses: the things we learn from our parents, the challenges we face, the value of hard work, and leaving a legacy.  Amy also reminds us about the importance of faith and prayer (as she usually does).  But it’s the song’s title that sticks with me.  We’re all planting trees we’ll never see.

I remember talking to one of my cousins years ago, and hearing about a locked-down project he was a part of for America’s Space Administration.  I can’t recall the what, where, or why of it all, but I do remember the time frame to get it done.  Generations.  Meaning, my cousin (and his kids, and maybe even their kids) will be long gone before the work is finished.  My cousin is planting a tree he’ll never see.

Here’s my favorite lyric in the Amy Grant song:

Statues fall and glory fades but a hundred-year-old oak tree still gives shade. 

That’s powerful stuff in my book.  You can be somebody big or you can do something big, but what can you be or do to make the world a better place after you’re gone?  I’m still working on my answer to that question.

I first covered Amy Grant a few years ago, blogging about her single I Need A Silent Night.  It’s a frank anthem about seeking the Christmas spirit amidst the inevitable chaos.  I’m not always struck by Amy’s lyrics but I was then and I am again now.

This one stays

Here’s my final take on Amy’s song.  If you’re familiar with her music you know she’s been around a long time.  She released her first album in 1977, meaning almost fifty years and hundreds of songs.  And in that time Amy’s style moved a little towards pop and a little towards country, but never far from Christian themes.  Trees We’ll Never See could be straight out of Amy’s early years.  It’s like she tapped the roots of a tree she planted decades ago, just to create a brand new one for future generations.  I’ll keep that in mind whenever we plant our Dogwood.

Some content sourced from IMDB, “the Internet Movie Database”, and Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”.

Author: Dave

Three hundred posts would suggest I have something to say… This blog was born from a desire to elevate the English language, highlighting eloquent words from days gone by. The stories I share are snippets of life itself, and each comes with a bonus: a dusted-off word I hope you’ll go on to use more often. Read “Deutschland-ish Improvements” to learn about my backyard European wish list. Try “Slush Fun” for the throwback years of the 7-Eleven convenience store. Or drink in "Iced Coffee" to discover the plight of the rural French cafe. On the lighter side, read "Late Night Racquet Sports" for my adventures with our latest moth invasion. As Walt Whitman said, “That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” Here then, my verse. Welcome to Life In A Word.

31 thoughts on “Trees We’ll Never See”

  1. I remember when we bought our first house the realtor told us to plant a tree every year we were there so that in the future the property would be wooded. We did as instructed, but have no idea what that place looks like now. I like the Amy Grant song. Thanks for the video.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great song, I had not heard it. I agree with you, it’s sad to take down some trees, but there will be others in their place, your property, do what is good for you. LOL – tell neighbor, I wonder how many trees were taken down to build YOUR house. Come on, right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do like Amy Grant’s music.
    Sometimes trees do have to come down. At our new home we’ve planted three large trees (expensive hobby), and four small ones but sadly it looks like this harsh winter we’ve just had may have killed a couple of our older trees.

    and if the trees are close enough to the fence, you could cut the trees so they’d crash into the fence and you’d get tree removal, fence demo and a great YouTube video all in just a few saw cuts … just a suggestion …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should’ve owned up to “someone else will do the planting” when I talked about adding trees. I don’t trust myself to set them up for success. As for the fence, we need it to go back up when they’re done (else our horses will run to Georgia) so that part of the project will be done slightly more carefully than your suggestion 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy Grant’s first album was in 1977?! What?! Then again, I guess I remember her as I kid, so, I suppose, in the 80s, still that seems so wild to me.

    The flowering dogwood sounds beautiful. But of course now I have to ask, what will you do with the rose plants? Can you give them as a consolation to your neighbor?

    A place to ride her horses… Oh my, your wife is a lucky woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I picked up Amy Grant with “Heart In Motion” (1991), spent time with her earlier albums, and have followed her closely ever since. Saw her in Christmas concert once – fantastic.

      Yes, it’s all about the horse in the community we live in. Husbands come second 😉


    1. The black fences are uniform throughout the community. You’re expected to maintain them or you get a “nice” reminder from the homeowners association. But I love how you can walk into the local paint shop and mention our neighborhood and that’s all they need to know to mix up the right color.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember going on trips through Kentucky horse country with family. The fences were all white in the early 70s but were all black by the late 80s.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess we’re out of date here….as I’ve never seen any black fencing for farms, but it makes sense as it wouldn’t show the dirt as much. I would love to see Kentucky horse country. I so seldom see horses in the countryside anymore, when I was growing up they were on almost every farm.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I wonder if the white fencing is an indication of the racing side of the equestrian world (thoroughbreds, etc.) In the late 1990’s I don’t recall seeing any black fencing when I took a trip to Lexington, KY. Down here, where it’s just about all dressage and English-style riding, the black fencing is everywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel like neighbors are always fighting about trees, how silly. I’m sure your backyard is going to look great and that she has nothing to worry about. A backyard to ride horses sounds very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Between our community covenants and a few high-maintenance neighbors, there’s plenty of “silliness” going on around here. We just take a breath, smile, and then go do whatever we intended to do 😉


  6. I can’ see both sides. I understand her need to want to save the trees but as someone who loves horses understand your wife wanting an arena. And sometimes we do have to cut down a few to help others survive. But the good thing is you already have plans to replant trees which not alot of people would do. So thats awesome and the trees your planting will be gorgeous. As for your neighbor, if she’s so concerned about the trees, maybe she should plant some new ones herself on her property.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, great idea! For every tree we take down maybe I’ll ask our neighbor to plant one on her side. Would love to see the look on her face. But given all we have are pines and oaks, it’ll be good to shake things up with a dogwood or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never heard that Amy Grant song before Dave – thanks for including it in this post. We had two tall Oaks and a Locust tree that were cut down due to Carpenter ants, yet two “junk trees” that grew from seedlings grew healthy and strong only to be felled by DTE, our energy provider, the following day after the downed wire/fire on December 2nd. They are hacked up but likely will still provide some shade, but now will have to be cut down. My neighbors across the street had four children, a year apart, back in the early 50s. They planted a tree for each child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trees seem to be popular memorials to honor the loss of loved ones. We have a beautiful oak in the middle of a horse racetrack down here, in remembrance of a thoroughbred that lost its life training for the Triple Crown.

      The Amy Grant song just came out last month. She hasn’t produced any new music in awhile, as she went through an extended recovery from a bicycling accident. Thankfully she is 100% now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have memorial trees in the Park where I walk – I was going to get one for my mom but the City stopped selling them. Last week there was a guy at the Park counting trees, memorial or otherwise and taking photos and jotting notes about them and I asked why? The government is supplying the DNR with trees to be put in various Michigan parks, so we will get some trees – in 2021, we got about 35.

        I was at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky several years ago. You and your wife like horses, so you might like to visit. I was there in the Spring and there were several new foals. In the stable area for each of the foals it had a painting of a pink or blue foal wrapped up in a blanket held by a stork. You would walk around the pasture area to see all the horses. They had memorials to honor many of the famous racing horses that won the Triple Crown. It was an enjoyable visit.


  8. You brought to mind my grandmother, Dave–a strong tree if there ever was one. She weathered storms of loss and hardship by sending her roots down deep into the love of her Heavenly Father, and nourishing them every day in His Word. Now I’m telling my grandchildren about her as events or conversations bring her to my mind. I pray her legacy of faith and strength will live on in them even after I’m gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this comment, Nancy. I tell my kids about my grandparents as well, because they not only lived exemplary lives but also endured loss and hardship that no following generation can truly appreciate. My memories of them remind me how much I have to be thankful for.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have lost 10 or 12 trees since we moved here, almost all of them because of age or disease. I wish I had planted some.

    I enjoyed the Amy Grant song. But unlike most, I don’t really hear most of the words, just the tones and rhythms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get the tones and rhythms comment, J.P. This song appealed to me as soon as its instrumental intro began and it’s a soothing ride the rest of the way.

      Liked by 1 person

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