It could be headlined as a “tree hugger’s” worst nightmare. A recent newspaper article told the sad story about the necessity of cutting down more than 40,000 trees in Galveston, Texas. The trees were irreparably damaged by the salt water storm surge Hurricane Ike boiled up in September 2008. Trees that have lost 50% of their canopy are being axed.
For some reason, what popped into my head after reading the article was Joyce Kilmer’s poem, Trees. Remember it?
The first verse goes like this: I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree. And the last verse: Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. Whether spiritual or not, there does seem to be an emotional connection between mankind and trees.
Well, call it destiny or serendipity, but 80 of Galveston’s fallen evergreen oak trees will soon be transported to Mystic Seaport’s shipyard instead of ending up in a Texas landfill. That’s a good thing.
The trees’ lumber will be used to authentically rebuild the frame on the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship, now in dry dock and undergoing a three-year restoration. Quentin Snediker, director of the Museum’s shipyard, hopes that Galveston residents will feel somewhat compensated, knowing some of their fallen trees will have an important and historical role in the Morgan’s restoration. Ironically, the rich shipbuilding histories of Galveston, TX and Mystic, CT will now be forever linked because of Hurricane Ike’s devastation to that southern barrier island.
Perhaps someone should write a poem – or a sea shanty – about the trees of Galveston taking their place in maritime history at Mystic Seaport. Any poets or composers out there who care to give it a try?
Blog written by Trudi Busey