Since it was the middle of winter, I waited for a “January thaw day,” to listen to a tree. Behind my garden condo is a small stream with a grove of trees. My balcony faces an ancient twin oak in this grove. In fact, this oak’s branches extend to the roof of my building. I decided to listen to the twin oak, who has been my friend for many years. The oak is two males who often finish each other sentences. On this day, they were sleepy, having just woken up for the warm day.
Devoid of leaves, the oak’s branches swayed in the slight breeze. Nuthatches were searching for bugs on the trunk, while the titmice were flitting from branch to branch. A flock of geese flew overhead, honking a greeting to the tree. Sleepily, the twin oak acknowledged the geese’s calls.
A few days before a storm had blown through taking with it, the large squirrel nest from the main branches of the oak. Upset at this, the oak felt sad that the squirrels had to build a new home elsewhere. Since they were asleep at the time, the twin oak could not save the nest. Regarding themselves as a protector of life, they wanted the squirrels to feel secure with them.
As I sat with the twin oak, a squirrel jumped up on a branch near my balcony. The upset animal angrily “cheeed” at me, screaming that I was bothering the oak. Before the oak settled back down to their slumber, they said that the squirrels do like to guard them. This particular squirrel (Cut Ear) warned me not to disturb the tree again. I have no idea what this squirrel would do to me, but I certainly did not want to find out. So I went inside.