True stories with a twist!


Everyone knows what color a tree is; ask any nursery school child and you’ll hear the answer: “green.”

That’s what I used to think, but it’s not that simple. Green is not only green. It shares its color with other shades, tones and hues. Now when I look out at the garden I see a rainbow of yellow-green, blue-green, and lime-green. The maple trees are red and golden yellow. I see a beautiful collage of colors although flowers are no longer blooming.

The most glorious tree in the garden, reigning high above the others on top of the hill is the Cryptomeria. This conifer soars above the other trees in it’s size and majesty. It’s not only the height of the tree that is so striking: it’s the color. This rare version is known as “The Rust Tree.” Nothing else in our garden or any other one in the neighborhood flaunts this unusual shade. It’s not brown, not red, not orange and not yellow. Rust comes the closest to describing it.

Here is its picture:




But the joke is on me, and perhaps on you also, if you believed in my “rust tree” because there is no such thing as a rust tree. But there is such a thing as Death, and this cryptomeria is dead! It got browner and browner and then lost its needles. Sadly, the tree had to be taken down. And that’s the story of how I, the eternal optimist, sees a dying tree and thinks it is a rare new species, alive and thriving.

Reality can be so disappointing.

Comments on: "MY RUST TREE" (12)

  1. I really enjoyed this story!

  2. Perhaps a reminder there’s beauty in death? Lovely tribute to your tree.

  3. I have seen other trees with the ailment. It is sad to lose a big tree.

    • Yes,it was terribly sad to lose that beautiful tree. Getting someone to take it down and remove the tree branches was another difficulty. We won’t discuss the cost of all of this, but imagine huge numbers…

  4. Lisa Honecker said:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there. I did not die.

    For some reason this morning after reading Rust Tree, I thought of this very well known poem and the message that there is no finality in death. The image of the tree will live in your mind. Good story. Lisa H.

  5. But rust is a sign of impending disaster for metal, so the colour was a sign of the passing of a formidably tree… love your posts Ronnie…

    • Thank you, Rob. That’s a good analogy and one I hadn’t thought of. I’ll remember that: rust is a sign of impending disaster. Pity the poor redheads whose hair look a little on the rusty side; in fact how common is the nickname: “Rusty?”

      • Red heads and people called “Rusty”…impending disasters… well the Rusty I know is one… mad as a hatter…

  6. Yes, Ronnie, but I am never disappointed by your posts.

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