a friend of mine lived in nashville for years. she and her husband lived in a state park outside the city, and as a northerner from minnesota, where we pride ourselves on highway shoulders so clean you could picnic off of them, it always took some getting used to, when we would go visit, and find ourselves in what was supposed to be remote nature, but that was so full of man-made stuff that people had left behind and never picked up. it made me think i would have trouble living there, except for one thing–the sheer splendor of the trees in that part of the world. a forest full of redbuds and tulip poplars and walnuts and pecans and cherries and oaks and ash and and magnolias is a sight to make you spend all day looking up in worshipful wonder, and forget the signs of neglect at your feet.

eastern redbud buds

turtle lake, shoreview, minnesota

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