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Director Barbara Osuch's LibraryLife

My Little Tree Story

Once Upon a Time, a Long Time Ago, in a Faraway Place...

A little tree came into my life. A very small blue spruce tree. That tree entered my life before I went to library school, before I became a parent, and before I understood the full weight of paper. This was the best time for me to plant a tree, only I did not know it yet.  It took me from that time in my life until now to see that spruce tree for its full worth: something that sparks joy. That was then; this is now.

A long time ago, a very wise friend asked me if I would take care of her tree and plant it in my yard.  My friend was moving far away.

Back then, I thought transplanting that tree was a favor I did for her because she was moving and could not bear the thought of a new homeowner uprooting her little tree. I promised to take care of her tree.  My friend unearthed the little tree from her yard, and I transported it to mine in the back of my hatchback car.

I planted it in my yard, and barely gave the little tree a second thought over the intervening years as the passing seasons did the work of transforming it into a majestic, Christmas-card-worthy tree. That was then; this is now.

There is a proverb that tells us the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is now.

Now I know that this tree is one of the greatest gifts that I ever received. It has taken me many winters to realize this. All the years of packing, unpacking, hauling, trimming, adorning and topping indoor Christmas trees year after year—trees that came and went with each passing year—while the spruce tree grew more majestic. My family began a new tradition of adorning our spruce tree with lights and a star, and suet to feed the birds during the winter. This is now.

Gratitude passes to all of us through the trees.

In the spring, the birds leave us gifts of beautiful nests, colorful eggs, and nestlings that eventually fly away with a guarantee to repeat the cycle of life.

LibraryLife intersects in my home and work worlds…

In 2015 we planted a little tree—a Colorado blue spruce—outside the Library in the spring. This little tree—coming up on its fourth winter—holds more lights each year as its branches grow stronger. This little tree sparks much new joy.

This spring @ PFPL, we planted a companion evergreen tree, a Norwegian pine, to grow alongside the Colorado blue spruce. Now we call it a grove of trees.  This is now.  Look south into the December sky for a large recognizable pattern of stars or “asterism” called the Winter Circle. This formation contains more bright stars than at any other season. The Winter Circle is big.  You can see it each winter evening just by looking up!

Peace & Joy,

Barbara

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