Picture of Vera Jane Cook

Vera Jane Cook

Chatter Creek Cottage: Bradford Pear Tree on Northbranch Road

OMG, I’ve got a cursed tree! Here I thought it was so beautiful and then I went on line and found out it’s the most hated tree in the world, it’s gorgeous flowers smell like a beach full of dead tuna and it dies young and smashes up all over the yard. Well, I’ve loved the beautiful and the deadly in the past, I guess I am loving the beautiful and the deadly again. Beneath its cursed lushness it soothes me, like the charm of a serial killer. It’s Brutus, or Judas or Delilah. It’s what you could refer to as a bad boy who paints like Monet or a nasty, nasty girl who is gifted, like Natalie Merchant.

But I love that damn tree like the daughter that gets into drugs or the son that wears dresses or the dog that bites you. I mean it’s beautiful! It’s Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce, it’s Madonna naked on a motorcycle, the mumble from James Dean, the murderous charm of Ted Bundy. God, what have I gotten into, I love my tree and all over the Internet it has this reputation of being absolutely evil. I’m told it should be cut down and buried deep, like Dracula.

But I don’t understand! It’s absolutely breathtaking, even though its flowers are said to stink I smell only perfume. The grass under it doesn’t grow, that’s true, it’s cursed but it soothes me, it thrills me. It’s music and poetry and emotion, yet underneath they tell me it’s a cursed demon. Well, I’m going to think of it as a Corvette convertible on an open road driven by an incredibly handsome man who texts while driving, lies to women, doesn’t take care of his mother, has too many tattoos and smokes like a chimney. That tree is a metaphor for all the times I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Yet, let it be. Give it a second chance, who among us hasn’t shown a pretty face when underneath there lurks a curse?