January 10, 2022

By Arthur H.Gunther III

There is a tree on the South Mountain in my Hudson Valley, N.Y., area that has looked at me since I was a young fellow. And that is a long time ago.

It has – does – look at others, too. But its glance, perhaps even its lingering gaze, is suited to the individual and his/her circumstance, beliefs, age, outlook, well everything human and emotional. 

Trees have their way of drawing us in, of taking us to dreams when we look at them. Yes, they are not animate as humans are, but they are living. You sit under a tree, you climb a tree, you look at a tree in the rising or setting sun, in snow, in rain, in ice, in moonlight.

The tree at South Mountain, in the Concklin orchards off the road of the same name, in Pomona, N.Y., has been a friend for so very long. I took my first photo of it with a box camera, then as a professional newspaper lensman. I now paint it in my retirement.

If I could write down all the emotions experienced over the many decades looking at the tree, walking by it, driving by it, in youthful romance and adult living, in sadness and joy, the total text would read as a biography.

The tree on the South Mountain will no doubt survive me, and we will part with great gratitude and the certainty that it is a friend to others, now and to come.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman.