Three of my best friends

Having just read “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers, I was delighted to learn more about Suzanne Simard, an inspiration for Patricia Westerford, who despite derision and opposition, proved trees communicate among themselves. When I was a child growing up in Marblehead, Mass., three of my best friends were trees: two oaks and a white pine. I named them, climbed them and talked to them knowing they recognized me and enjoyed my company. Now, at 88, all my two-legged friends are gone, but my tree friends are still standing. I visited them last summer, glad to see them tall, strong and healthy.

—  Cynthia Baketel Systrom, Stuart, FL in a reader’s letter to the editor in response to Ferris Jabr’s “The Social Life of Forests in the NY Times Magazine 12/6/20 issue (New York Times Magazine, Dec 20, 2020)

Photo: DK’s 3 Sisters. Cove Island Park. 6:56 am. January 6, 2021.


  1. How I love this, Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Simard!! Love trees! She is brilliant and my next book is definitely going to be about Trees 🌲🎄🌲🌲

    Liked by 1 person

  3. niasunset says:

    Dear Dave, I watched… so beautiful…. so beautiful…. I stayed on this photograph… but the words too… the quote impressed me so much… I can’t explain how much… Do you know my friends they had been all cut… I don’t have any of them from my childhood days… No one can understand what’s the meaning of this in here… but you do. Thank you dear Dave, sometimes I remember there is a civilized world on the earth… It is so tragic. For me, for us who live in this geography… stop nia, that’s enough… sorry for my emotionally touches… Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And if one doesn’t value them enough – look at your photo and then go outside and wish them all a good morning. If you’re fortunate, they may wish you the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is one of my favorite photos of yours, pal. I find it incredibly poignant. To my eyes, it radiates a striking combination of strength and vulnerability that I find deeply reassuring. And I have no doubt that trees can talk, to us and to each other. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have a couple of people who have told me to read this and thought I would love it, and I think they are right. your picture today is beautifully composed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so with this one — I also trees are our teachers on how to hold silence, space and stillness.
    If you haven’t read Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass – I found it enchanting and enlightening.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The keepers keep coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One of the reasons why we bought the house we bought in France was a duo (of 3) birches and a magnificent blue Lebanon cedar. The 2 birches had to be cut down within the first year because they were ‘ill’ and were a danger to neighbouring houses and gardens. The cedar literally died within 4 months. I cried for weeks after it was gone and I treasure the photos I took before its untimely demise.
    This is a wonderful mariage of a magic photo and beautiful writing. Thank You for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Beautiful, David. Thank you for sharing. Trees are the best. Cher xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a beautiful post, David. It reminds me a of poem by Ilan Shamir I cut out of a magazine awhile back:

    Advice From A Tree
    Dear Friend,
    Stand Tall and Proud
    Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
    Reflect the light of a greater source
    Think long term
    Go out on a limb
    Remember your place among all living beings
    Embrace with joy the changing seasons
    For each yields its own abundance
    The Energy and Birth of Spring
    The Growth and Contentment of Summer
    The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
    The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
    Feel the wind and the sun
    And delight in their presence
    Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
    And the mystery of the stars at night.
    Seek nourishment from the good things in life
    Simple pleasures
    Earth, fresh air, light
    Be content with your natural beauty
    Drink plenty of water
    Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
    Be flexible
    Remember your roots
    Enjoy the view!

    It seems to me, David, you are already taking this advice. Another tidbit for nourishment spoke of thinking about difficult people as if they were trees and appreciate their differences. Trees have much to teach us.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love trees, I’ve always been immersed in trees. I spent a lot of time in trees as a kid…I have favorite trees around my area…with our recent plumbing issue we told our daughter we might loss the Maple tree she burst out into tears…

    Liked by 1 person

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