I'm never going to stop talking about "The Overstory," so just get used to it.
While reading it, I was reminded about my own tree encounters—from the old tree that used to stand in a field of black-eyed susans (now a housing development) to the oaks of Sherwood Forest (the actual one), to the sequoia and redwoods of California.
And then there was that time that trees helped me find my lost cat.
In the early 1990s, I was living in an apartment complex in Dallas called Timbercreek. There's one thing you need to know about Dallas: there was no timber. I'm not even all that sure there was a creek. I've never even seen water in the Trinity River. But there were trees in the development, mature trees of some type I don't recall now, maybe live oaks, and a handful of pine trees. I guess those were the "timber."
At the time, I was married and had two cats, both declawed (because that's what you did - I know better now, of course), both boys and thoroughly indoor cats at that. The grey tabby boy was named Lorenzo St. DuBois (taken from 'The Producers') and we had a black cat we named Sexy Sadie, after The Beatles song.
One night, Sexy Sadie got out. I panicked. He was vulnerable out there and he had a wild streak. He could be gone for good. I didn't want to wait until morning - a lot could happen out there at night - so I went out and called for him.
Sadie never trotted up, never meowed, nothing. I got desperate. I closed my eyes, I breathed in deep - one, two, three - and I asked the trees for help.
There were these ornamental trees cut into shrubs that edged each building, each one of them some kind of tamed evergreen. As I walked around the building, I heard clearly in my head: 'We don't have, we don't have, we don't have...'
I kept walking and walking and the bushes kept talking and talking until finally one said: "We have."
I stopped in my tracks, said "Sadie?"
Sadie meowed and trotted out from under the shrub's protection, and he never tried to run outside again.
All this to say, I really connected with "The Overstory." Now, if I could only get the trees to teach me how to garden.