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LJWorld.com weblogs At Random

Old Chestnut Tree

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Goodbye, old chestnut tree.

In 1944 you were the world to me.

You were all that I could see,

in Amsterdam - in hiding.

I watched you change seasonally,

as I prayed and held my breath.

You were my freedom and my hope.

I lived an eternity in 25 months

while you stood silent witness to it all.

But today, the wind and rain

and all those years

of pain, made you fall.

I was there for you in spirit.

You saw it all, old chestnut tree.

I was imprisoned as you watched free,

stationary, as they came for me.

Outside my window. A silent witness.

Comments

Ronda Miller 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, Shula. Have a safe journey!

I'm planning on writing a lot of poetry during my six day break. I hope all of the rest of you will too.

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schula 3 years, 7 months ago

As usual, a great poem, Ronda! I read the article in the paper about the tree and was saddened by it. I am glad that there will be clones of it planted around and that the museum will plant a new tree in its place.

On a happier note, I am giving everyone the rest of the week off along with Monday and Tuesday of next week. Enjoy your 6-day vacation! I intend to enjoy mine.

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Ronda Miller 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, honey.

I have a couple of favorite trees myself. Some I watch for along I -70 as I travel to nw Kansas and back. They really stand out and are so welcoming against the landscape. I also remember how much pleasure I received as a child watching trees outside my bedroom window as they changed throughout the year.

I'm fortunate in that I have stellar trees on my horizon now. Something about their always being there, like aspects of our landscape, the ocean, is comforting -old friends of our soul.

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Mel Briscoe 3 years, 7 months ago

that was a really great poem, ronda. i liked the historic angle you took AND it also reminded me of a favorite tree of mine that was cut down recently, and what a feeling of loss it caused in me.

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Ronda Miller 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for taking the time to look that clip up and post it. I had not seen it before.

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Ronda Miller 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for your heartfelt and beautifully written information. You know much more about trees than I do. I know one of my first thoughts was that I hoped another one would be left in its place to carry on.

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none2 3 years, 8 months ago

When I first heard about Anne Frank's Chestnut tree, I was concerned as there is a chestnut blight that devastated the American Chestnut tree. It first made news when it was found on a diseased tree in the Bronx Zoo in 1904. The European Chestnut can also be susceptible. The eastern forests of Appalachia were almost 50% Chestnuts, so it devastated the ecosystem when most of them were destroyed.

Low and behold the Anne Frank tree is not actually a chestnut. Rather, it is Aesculus hippocastanum which is a large deciduous tree, commonly known as Horse-chestnut or Conker tree:

While this tree is not prone to the the Chestnut blight, it is prone to Bleeding Canker and some other serious diseases.

I hope wherever saplings from her tree go, that they thrive. For young Anne to see beauty in that old tree while she was surrounded by death, destruction and hatred, means that it was a very special tree that deserves to have its descendants live on and perhaps touch others as Anne was touched in her short life.

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Ronda Miller 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, yet another loss and reminder of a horrific time in our world's history. Another example of how more easily it is to identify with one than millions. 'The Diary of Anne Frank' left a lasting impression on so many young lives. I was happy to see my daughter reading it in junior high and it made me cry to know she had to find out about the horror of human kind too.

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RoeDapple 3 years, 8 months ago

As I read this I could not get the image of Anne Frank out of my head. Then I looked it up and sure enough, the "Anne Frank Tree" has been toppled by a storm

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