Park Eucalyptus, II | Mark Lindsay

My tree is still standing. Not much has changed about it since I introduced it in my blog awhile ago. We’re just entering storm season, so who knows how it will fare once the winds and rain start to torment it. For now, it stands tall, the most regal monument in the low-lying plain that was once marsh and now Town Park.

The winds cut through this park during the winter. After big storms there are always limbs and sometimes even whole trees that have been ripped apart. The town is naturally windy and the low areas are decidedly windier, even on pleasant days. The lower the land and the closer it is to the bay, the more wind it gets. There are a thousand microclimates in this area—ever fascinating to behold.

The tree had a large limb cut from it after a fierce storm a few years back. This left a large, oval scar that glows a bright orange. While I was sad to see the limb fall, the scar is now my favorite part of the tree. It is its punctuation, a point of defiance. It is a proclamation of survival. The tree lives on in spite of storms and bureaucrats who want to eradicate all eucalyptus trees from our sight.

After storms the tree’s surroundings are a mess. Nuts and the shed bark are everywhere. But, on the day of this photo, the grass was mowed and green. The tree seemed regal and handsome. The park workers must have some fondness for it—it looks like a proud, well-groomed show dog. It is obviously cared for in spite of its political incorrectness. It is a non-native remnant of past times. As I’ve written before, I fully expect to one day walk into the park and find the tree either fallen or cut down and am therefore attached to its impermanence. I shall enjoy it while it lasts.