A lone Norfolk pine, standing ramrod still, greets me every morning at home. Like a lone enemy sentinel, it defies the Benguet pine forest surrounding it daring “I may be alone, but more than enough for all of you”.
Of course the Benguet pine trees scoff at him, paying him no mind ignoring the alien. But just the same, the Monterey, every morning, holds the morning against the sky’s silhouette.
But the challenge is thrown to humanity. Not against its conifer cousins.
It watches the sky above shift from pink to white to grey to blue, from dry to wet to blown to still.
Each evening its skeletal shape fades into dark as dusk is pulled over the land – except with a strong moon, like last night, when every branch and nest became an etching on the deep blue infinity of the cold night sky.
This tree has become something of a companion, a constancy. Every day.
Without realizing it I have accepted it as part of my environment when I limp to my garden each day, almost in the same way as I accept – and expect to see – the window, the mirror, the floor, the door, the bouganvilla outside the terrace and my Benguet pine forest.
Despite its young age and beauty, and its effortless embrace of rook colony and resting Martinez (myna), it has a singularity and isolation that stir in me a sense of melancholy.
When I look at this tree I also see the lemon trees below it. I wish there were other norfolk trees next to it. I don’t want it to be lonely, as I sometimes am. I want it a part of a wider woodland. Its solitary life is much like mine, its bareness emphasizing its separation from others of the same seed stock.