Spanish Moss on Oak Trees in Audubon Park

I was back on my bicycle today, off to work, yoga, home, then back to work again.  On my way home from yoga I detoured through Audubon Park again, hoping to stretch out my ride a bit and see some oak trees; they always remind me of both permanence–they are enormous and old and intimidating–and the inevitability of loss–so many are blown over in storms or cut down to make way for something else.  This is a city always vacillating between these two, even when it seems we might go under for good.  The trees were absolutely worth the visit today.  I pulled my bike over and looked up at the sun through the leaves, clouds providing a different background, and frothy Spanish moss dripping from branches.  This is an entirely different view than I’m used to, sitting up and looking straight ahead on my bike.  But from underneath the trees are part of a different viewscape and demand a different kind of attention.  From far away, the moss looks like thick hair falling awkwardly away from the branches.  But up close and from underneath it’s like lace, and it is so pretty.  I like both views, and I like the moss’s open dependency on the tree for its life.  It might be downright unAmerican, but I appreciate it.  We are all dependent in myriad ways, and I for one think it’s best to be honest about that.

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