I am unsure as to the age of my tree. I have looked up the average age a London Plane can reach, as it turns out none have been known to die of old age yet. Therefore I have decided to give my tree an age of 80 years old.
The day we first met was a sight to behold. A smeltering 90 degrees, very little wind, and high levels of humidity, combined with 15 lethargic bodies shifting sullenly under the sun.
However long before that glorious September 7th Monday, and long before I made my way to Dickinson College two and a half years ago, you have existed. Seeing time pass by one season to the next, but witnessing change happen around you regarding structures/roads, at much more rapid rates and much slower rates.
For instance, when the new library was built right in front of you it must have driven your friends crazy! The view you had of that process was one to envy, and I am sure Mr Oak was very jealous. You will have being witness to the changes of not just buildings and infrastructure, but rather the huge change in the student life and their activities. From what I have heard about Dickinson College in the 80’s it seemed to be quite a hoot, as I am sure you know from first-hand experience. There must have been many a night when you were silently slumbering only to be awoken by an idiotic inebriated imbecile impatiently relieving himself on either you or your poor neighbor.
As you track back through your memory log (pun intended), I wonder whether your recollections are based on human infrastructure and growth, changing ecosystems around you over time, or from one weather extreme to the next indicating key moments in your history and what made you you.
When I consider your history I am astonished to imagine your birthday. I am even more astonished to imagine what your memories must hold of the past. Not just events in history but rather human habits and their change over the past 80 years. How have lifestyles have dramatically developed for either the better or worse. The introduction of technology and how we as a race have entirely changed what our day-to-day life revolves around. Have you seen an increase or decrease in peoples attraction to you or your friends? Was there an era where we seemed to be MORE in touch with what it means to be a part of nature and not its executioner?
The more I consider your long life-time here in Carlisle PA, the harder I find it to decide your notion of time. What I mean is that because you lead a much less movement-based lifestyle does that mean that you experience time in a different way to human beings. While we humans tend to live very in-the-moment, due mainly to the busy lifestyles that a capitalist society enforces us to take a part in, I wonder if you as a tree live much more out-of-the-moment. Perhaps an entire 24-hour day that we experience, when compared with your experience, is but a brief moment only made relevant by extreme conditions or experiences.
0-22 years old Zacc Dwan: 0-80 years old London Plane: