Spontaneous dancing around the world becomes an internet sensation. I want to be like Matt when I grow up.
Oddly enough today I met a puppeteer on the street. Our conversation led to her saying she grew up in Massachusetts among birch trees. I exclaimed it was the third time in 2 weeks that “birches” had come up in conversation. She insisted I look up the symbolism of birches.
This concept tree symbolism was new to me, despite my long time in Berkeley 😉
The Celts and Tree Symbolism
One website translates Celtic beliefs to about birch trees as:
“a pioneer, courageously taking root and starting anew to revive the landscape where no other would before….The birch sings to us: Shine, take hold, express your creative expanse, light the way so that others may follow…Associated with the sun, the birch is a solar emblem, and facilitates passion, energy, as well as growth.”
MUCH more interesting than the typical description of my zodiac sign. Although I have no idea how “they” derived these interpretations. Let me know what happens when you try out “What’s your tree?” on someone in a bar.
One of few poems I fondly remember from school about youth and growing old…I hope you enjoy!
Birches by Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows–
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate wilfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree~
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
(Indeed! –Susie) Do you have a birch tale?