8.1.18 Pavement trees, from the street around the corner
My street is named after the trees its houses first replaced, as many streets are. One of its kind remains on an adjacent road, however - a common lime - and I can see it from my bedroom window. The Latin genus word for the lime family is Tilia: I always think it would make a pretty girl's name. Trace the word back far enough and you get to ptel-ei̯ā, a feminine noun meaning 'broad,' and that suits her all the more as that is exactly how she sits, her skirts frowzy and unkempt, a bush of wily red poker-shoots growing in all directions below her knees. In summer, she grins and spits sap onto cars parked beneath her. Her flowers are white starbursts that swell into round, plump clusters: drooping earrings that wobble when she laughs. I am uncommonly fond of her, my common lime, as you can tell. Who knows why that one matron was spared the chop. I'm grateful she was; I expect she is too.
She sleeps at this time of year, but unknown to her, still puts on a winter show. You see, her leaves have an unusual habit of making miniatures of her when trodden into tarmac. The strong winds last week must have blown up a hidden cache of dried leaves at her base and scattered them on the pavement a little way down the road. Feet as natural flower-presses did the rest.
Here then is a flat forest, muddied by January boots, and photographed by me, who stopped every foot along the pavement to snap a new one, and drove her son quite mad.