Walnut Tree

The wild daisies swept the fields like sculpted Berber carpet. Atop the rolling hill stood a tree.

One tree.

One sentinel tree.

The grasses and flexible flowers swirled like a whirlwind, gently rotating
counter-clockwise. The tree protected by tall green grasses and pure white starry blooms.

I thought of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ opening credits. The shot began with a wide lens, a lone tree atop a hill adorned with multi-colored wildflowers. Next the shot narrowed to Laura, scooting down the hill, her dog, Jack surpassed her past lens leaving the viewer with Laura Ingalls’ wide smile and celluloid joy. Her open arms lifted up like a ‘little witch in the making’ conjuring wind.

The tree was long forgotten and never mentioned in the rolling credits.

Yet, I recall a multitude of episodes wherein the tree headlined as the primary environmental character for a scene. Perhaps the tree was not the same one, top-billing in the introduction but the presence of nature was unavoidable and utilized creatively as a setting for Laura to work out inner-conflicts, gather youthful troops to revolutionize, to empathize, to catapult change.

The tree shined as a steady consort for Mary to experience her first kiss and a perfect hiding spot to leave her unsightly, expensive glasses.

In the final episode, the town was blown into smithereens; shards of Hollywood glass, wooden splinters, handcrafted metal, and red clouds of dry dirt spun across our television screen. Townspeople chained arm-in-arm with a specific country pride amidst the unfortunate chaos the future promised.

Walnut Grove began and ended as a community arm-in-arm underneath the church bell – rebels at heart. Underneath women’s baskets, girl’s pigtails, boy’s caps and men’s calloused hands – nearsighted rebels at the core.

The trees in town were spared untimely death.

The lone tree atop the hill was spanned as the family caravaned out of Walnut Grove.

I wonder if it was a walnut tree.

Google ‘symbolism of walnut tree’ and see what sprouts up.

Spring is here, listen as the trees awaken.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenn Nixon
    Feb 22, 2011 @ 17:07:35

    Awesome post! I remember those opening credits too!

    Tiva has a tree. She named it and loves it very much.


    • Vikki Bakus
      Feb 22, 2011 @ 17:31:18

      I love that Tiva loves a tree! Our family got together this weekend and the old show came up as did ‘Avatar.’ So, I guess I had trees on my mind today. Thanks for stopping by, Jenn!


  2. Pat Dolan
    Feb 22, 2011 @ 17:14:51

    Beautiful ode to Walnut Grove, etc. Alas, I never watched that show, but your description of the environs is clear as can be so it’s easy to visualize such a tree, such a place.

    Listening…the 2 warm days brought the first Robin song to us, the Titmice were singing their spring songs, and the Cardinals chimed in, too. The trees are leaning into the warm sunshine as 6+ inches of snow surrounds each tree trunk like a candle ring.

    Spring IS coming, if not today, soon!

    Love you!


    • Vikki Bakus
      Feb 22, 2011 @ 17:35:25

      Finally got some snow, huh? Good for you and the rest of us as I know artistic photos and renderings will be birthed. Yup, Spring is here and I am glad the birds have serenaded you. Thanks for commenting and love you too!


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