Since early spring, my husband and I have been fascinated by the growth of this little beech tree which has been growing up from under our deck. The only light for this spot is from above. The enclosed deck itself is about 18″ off the ground and pitch dark underneath save what filters down. We have left the plant alone and just enjoyed watching its tenacity. Its parent beech tree, at least 75 years old, had to come down last year since it was in danger of dropping one enormous limb onto either our or our neighbors’ garage. But we knew it hadn’t left willingly, and here is its offspring sneaking its way between the floorboards.
I was totally delighted yesterday when I noticed that its leaves had begun to change to the lovely rust of the beech in autumn. Clearly this little shrub was following along with its natural growth cycle, confident that it would be able to leaf out again in the spring. I could make an obvious metaphor out of the tree, but suffice it to say I admire its persistence in the face of odds. I enjoy its optimism about next spring. I thank it for reminding me that solid saplings will spring back up and replace the sad bare stumps, all that’s left of earlier trees.