Trees and Sunsets

I am the sort of person who has favorite trees.  I’ve always found trees to be a little bit magical, a piece of the past that roots into the future.  When I was a little girl, one of my favorite trees was the willow tree in our backyard (the namesake of our lane). Now, though I have many trees that I love, one of my absolute favorites is my backyard western pine.

Very few types of evergreen trees are actually native to Illinois.  If you see them here, it’s usually because they were planted, or perhaps their parent tree was planted.  They grow tall and lovely, and can rival the height of the native oaks and maples, but they don’t reach their true potential they way they would if they had rooted in their native soil.

And yet, they are the monoliths of the ridge line.  Apparently the result of depression era planting, there are rows upon rows of western pines scattered across the farm.  They edge the farm road, they frame the back fields, and one particularly lovely and tall evergreen commands the back yard.  I am the sort of person who has favorite trees, and this particular pine is one of my absolute favorite trees on the property.


I sat in my sun room on Friday, reflecting on a particularly difficult day, starring out at the backyard and my stalwart pine tree in its field of oaks and maples.  It swayed gently in the wind as the sky faded from blue to pink behind it.


The sunset was extraordinary; I watched the colors slip from one to the next like the tracks on a well loved CD, so quiet in their transition that before you realize one song has ended, you’re listening to a new one.  I feel like God gave us sunsets to remind us that endings can be beautiful.


And I think maybe God gave us trees to remind us of our own brevity.  Those trees in the backyard have watched over this place for decades.  To their lifetime, I am a footnote. But not even the trees are permanent.  Everything is both stable and changing, all the time, all around us.


I’m not sure why, but those ideas comforted me that evening.  Endings can be beautiful.  Nothing lasts forever.


Pink to orange.  Orange to purple.  Purple back to blue before the night settled in.  The moon like an iridescent white pearl against the black, crushed-velvet sky.  By the time the night settled in, I felt much better. Because sometimes, endings can be beautiful.

And, regardless, the sun is going to rise over my favorite pinetree in the morning.





17 thoughts on “Trees and Sunsets

  1. I love these two things too. In fact, if you asked my kids the things I like-they would immediately say those two things. I like them for a slightly different reason than you. I loved reading your reasons for loving two things I hold dear. Your pictures are beautiful as well. Sunsets always put a bad day into perspective for me. Thank you for sharing. 😊


  2. Thank you for your lovely post. I do love trees. They are such giving beings and so wise. We carve our names into them to mark our time. What other creature would let us climb all over it and embrace us with its arms. Or provide an umbrella from the rain. Or give us such a lovely carpet to walk on every autumn. And the colors. What colors can match their coats of many colors.

    Your thoughts about the sunset brought this poem to mind. It is a favorite. I don’t know whether I have shared it with you before. If I have, it’s still worth sharing again.
    Let Evening Come
    Jane Kenyon, 1947 – 1995

    Let the light of late afternoon
    shine through chinks in the barn, moving
    up the bales as the sun moves down.

    Let the cricket take up chafing
    as a woman takes up her needles
    and her yarn. Let evening come.

    Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
    in long grass. Let the stars appear
    and the moon disclose her silver horn.

    Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
    Let the wind die down. Let the shed
    go black inside. Let evening come.

    To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
    in the oats, to air in the lung
    let evening come.

    Let it come, as it will, and don’t
    be afraid. God does not leave us
    comfortless, so let evening come.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful! Both photos and words! I just commented on a post today about this very thing. How sunrises and sunsets happen every day without fail. No matter the weather, clouds, or season. Whether or not we are there to witness them or not. How they are dynamic and unique and different from every viewpoint. How we can count on them. Or rather, they are representative of THE ONE we can count on. Thank you!


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