WHEN YOU PLANT a tree, it is with the expectation that it will grow But O! so long from seed to fruit: the tender shoot That first sees sun by foot or paw, careless beak, hungry snail, Days of drought, late spring frost, is vulnerable to the slightest Whim of chance. Next season, if luck and nurture fare it well, Taller and just this much stronger it reaches again to heaven. Speck by speck, ring by ring, imperceptible except we slow so Much to watch, it grows. Ring, love blossoms. Ring, a friend Meets god. Ring, a child is born. Ring, half-a-thousand meals shared. Ring, holidays and holy days. Ring, a tragedy, its burden shared. Ring, children grow and learn and change and it is hard and it is Good and they echo in time-lapse another ring, other friends and Loves and tragedies. Ring, nights up in conversations long and Hard and hopeless and hopeful and painful and beautiful. Ring, A picnic. Ring, the seashore. Ring, new job. Ring, new service. Ring, recognition and rewards. Ring, loneliness. Ring, illness. Ring, growth. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring, and still it is but A sapling. Stronger, sure, but without luck extraordinary and Careful nurture, threatened by the flashy flowers and verdant Grass which sprout and drink deeply of the soil’s mead, shoot Up and blossom in a season then are gone. Threatened, still, By storm, by drought, by gardeners’ whips and boys’ pocket knives, Landscapers’ whims and fire and pest and climate and economy... Yet, given luck and nurture, luck and nurture, luck and nurture: Ring, the planters grow old. Ring, the children grow up. Ring and Ring and ring and ring and ring and the children’s children climb; Blessed shade and sturdy roots and food and air they breathe Replenished by the tree in middle age. Now sturdy, tall, it may Within its boughs provide the shelter it once required but only With luck (ring!) vigilance (ring!) priority (ring!) nurture (ring!) And time and time and time and time and time.
— Ron – 02 Apr 2008