Is it the lumberman, then, who is the friend and lover of the pine, stands nearest to it, and understands its nature best? Is it the tanner who has barked it, or he who has boxed it for turpentine, whom posterity will fable to have been changed into a pine at last? No! no! it is the poet: he it is who makes the truest use of the pine-who does not fondle it with an axe, nor tickle it with a saw, nor stroke it with a plane. . . .
Henry David Thoreau
Lucy rubbed her back, a feeling of panic tightening her chest. She was the last person to give love advice. She hadn't done anything but pine for Jem since he'd gone, and done nothing but pine for him since he'd returned. She hadn't taken her love for him and put it anywhere at all. Alda looked up, eyes red. 'I need to take that love and spread it around. What a waste to just keep it tucked inside.
Mary Jane Hathaway
i'm a perfectionist, so i'm never satisfied with myself. i've always been psychotic about that kind of stuff--in a good way. i'm very disciplined. like the food and the whole thing, i'm always looking to "how can i eventually just turn into a ball of light and fly off the planet?". until that happens and God basically pull the blinds back, i will not be satisfied... if i found out that if i ate pine nuts for the next month i could see God, i'd be eating pine nuts.
The wind whirls and whistles and strip pink blooms from the mimosas, scatters twigs, broken limbs, pine needles and pine cones across our yard, and robs the pecan trees of a thousand leaves. The storm eventually dies, but the bruised trees continue to weep into the night, still shimmering with dewy leaves when the sun comes up the next morning.
Brenda Sutton Rose
But it was Aldo's pen that became his most forceful tool. He started a newsletter for rangers called the Carson Pine Cone. Aldo used it to 'scatter seeds of knowledge, encouragement, and enthusiasm.' Most of the Pine Cone's articles, poems, jokes, editorials, and drawings were Aldo's own. His readers soon realized that the forest animals were as important to him as the trees. His goal was to bring back the 'flavor of the wilds.
Strange that so few ever come to the woods to see how the pine lives and grows and spires, lifting its evergreen arms to the light,--to see its perfect success; but most are content to behold it in the shape of many broad boards brought to market, and deem that its true success! But the pine is no more lumber than man is, and to be made into boards and houses is no more its true and highest use than the truest use of a man is to be cut down and made into manure.
Henry David Thoreau
Tom Dancer's gift of a whitebark pine cone You never know What opportunity Is going to travel to you, Or through you. Once a friend gave me A small pine cone- One of a few He found in the scat Of a grizzly In Utah maybe, Or Wyoming. I took it home And did what I supposed He was sure I would do- I ate it, Thinking How it had traveled Through that rough And holy body. It was crisp and sweet. It was almost a prayer Without words. My gratitude, Tom Dancer, For this gift of the world I adore so much And want to belong to. And thank you too, great bear
I found everything so remote but, at the same time, familiar when I occasionally looked into the mountains, rocks, pine trees and plums depicted in old literati paintings. My innermost feeling which was awakened by the same mountains, rocks, pine trees and plums has been totally and utterly changed. Moreover, like an apparition, it hides deep down in my vessels. The very trees and rocks have become the storage of memories and emotions from various eras. Forced by the rapid change of time and perspective, I cannot help but feel urged to face up to these things once again.
I reached for her, pushing back the fall of hair-it was heavy and thick and smooth to the touch-and tilted her chin so that the moonlight shone on her wet face. We married each other that night, there on a bed of fallen pine needles-even today, the scent of pitch-pine stirs me-with Henry's distant flute for a wedding march and the arching white birch boughs for our basilica. At first, she quivered like an aspen, and I was ashamed at my lack of continence, yet I could not let go of her. I felt like Peleus on the beach, clinging to Thetis, only to find that, suddenly, it was she who held me; that same furnace in her nature that had flared up in anger blazed again, in passion.
You are God. You want to make a forest, something to hold the soil, lock up energy, and give off oxygen. Wouldn't it be simpler just to rough in a slab of chemicals, a green acre of goo? You are a man, a retired railroad worker who makes replicas as a hobby. You decide to make a replica of one tree, the longleaf pine your great-grandfather planted- just a replica- it doesn't have to work. How are you going to do it? How long do you think you might live, how good is your glue? For one thing, you are going to have to dig a hole and stick your replica trunk halfway to China if you want the thing to stand up. Because you will have to work fairly big; if your replica is too small, you'll be unable to handle the slender, three-sided needles, affix them in clusters of three in fascicles, and attach those laden fascicles to flexible twigs. The twigs themselves must be covered by 'many silvery-white, fringed, long-spreading scales.' Are your pine cones' scales 'thin, flat, rounded at the apex?' When you loose the lashed copper wire trussing the limbs to the trunk, the whole tree collapses like an umbrella. You are a sculptor. You climb a great ladder; you pour grease all over a growing longleaf pine. Next, you build a hollow cylinder around the entire pine... and pour wet plaster over and inside the pine. Now open the walls, split the plaster, saw down the tree, remove it, discard, and your intricate sculpture is ready: this is the shape of part of the air. You are a chloroplast moving in water heaved one hundred feet above ground. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen in a ring around magnesium... you are evolution; you have only begun to make trees. You are god- are you tired? Finished?
The human life cycle no less than evolves around the box; from the open-topped box called a bassinet, to the pine box we call a coffin, the box is our past and, just as assuredly, our future. It should not surprise us then that the lowly box plays such a significant role in the first Christmas story. For Christmas began in a humble, hay-filled box of splintered wood. The Magi, wise men who had traveled far to see the infant king, laid treasure-filled boxes at the feet of that holy child. And in the end, when He had ransomed our sins with His blood, the Lord of Christmas was laid down in a box of stone. How fitting that each Christmas season brightly wrapped boxes skirt the pine boughs of Christmas trees around the world.
Richard Paul Evans