A Bush Grows in Fresno

I was at Barnes and Noble awhile back and they had a lot of posters up about classic literature. When I saw the one for “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, I got the idea for this post.


This bottlebrush tree was in our backyard when we were married in 1992. I came across the photo by accident while organizing a closet, and I used it in the post “I Found a Tree”. Next to it on the right is some kind of a palm or succulent.

the bush
back-yardIn the two pictures above you can see the “spiky plant” on the right (it’s all dried up). But where is the bottlebrush tree? And what is that other tree to the left of the dried up spiky one? It’s been there for years. Its upper branches and leaves grow well over the backyard, providing shade and a place for birds to nest and squirrels to play.
birdhouses-after-rainI even put birdhouses up in the tree this spring. You can still see the dried up “spiky” plant off to the right.benchAfter I started trimming the “tree” (which apparently was really a bush) I “found” the bottlebrush tree behind it. (You’ll notice that I have taken out the spiky plant.)

So ever since I rediscovered the bottlebrush tree, I have pondered this question: How did a bush grow into a tree and completely obliterate another tree that was there first…and how did we, who were here the whole time, never realize it was happening? It makes me think of the phrase “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”

There a number of ideas, or “object lessons” that can be brought out of this topic. But rather than getting all philosophical, I’m merely putting the question out there. How many of our own life experiences parallel the story of the bush and the bottlebrush tree?