I Think That I Shall Never See A Poem As Beautiful As A Tree – On A Bus

Once upon a time, a colleague bought a big silk ficus tree for his office.  It lived in a corner, held Christmas tree ornaments and lights during the holidays but most of the time just held dust.  One day, the colleague in a fit of pique transferred to another location, packed his grip and bequeathed me the tree.  So I promised to care for it and took it to my office where it lived against the wall, unloved and undusted.

tree on bus

Tree and I ride the bus. It's a seat hog.

Eventually I changed residences and it dawned that this tree would fit well in a corner of the living room.  But considering its height, I would need a nice friend with a van to transport.  A van never materialized.  Years went by.  One day the office director announced an office move; all our belongings had to fit into two boxes or we had to transport the excess ourselves.  More time passed as it usually does in a bureaucracy, and finally the director proclaimed that stuff had to go.

So that’s how I came to be on a bus last week with a dusty six foot ficus tree.   I muscled it to the curb and hoped to flag a taxi van.  But as luck will have it, these vans only appear if 1) your back hurts or 2) your knees ache so you have to literally climb into the seat.  I felt fine so hence, no van.  The tree refused to ride in a regular taxi.  So there I was on the street hugging a tree.  Then remembering the new-fangled bus with low thresholds and no stairs, I walked the tree onto to one.  The bus driver looked askance as I flashed a cheesy smile.  The tree and I got a good seat out of the way and away we went.

tree at home

Tree at rest in its new home.

It traveled quite well as trees go.  Its roots stayed glued in the white wicker basket that I could tip to keep branches out of the way of riders.  It was quite courteous and didn’t hog a seat for the disabled or elderly.  It drew a lot of double takes and comments from mystified travelers: a tree, was it real, was it silk, it gave the bus a little panache, etc. When I commented taking a tree on a bus was the most unusual thing I’ve ever done, one lady matter of factly pointed out that the tree was getting home.  Tree and I got to our stop without a hitch and walked (with me using the trunk’s middle as a fulcrum) home without knocking over a single pedestrian.  I smiled at the doorman who without batting an eye remarked it was a fine tree.

Tree now stands in its appointed spot in the corner of the living room looking a bit dwarfed by the high ceiling. I’m considering naming it.  It got a thorough dusting and a sniffing by Patty.  It’s getting a new fishbowl planter pot and stand as a homecoming gift.  It’s amazing how a bit of greenery can liven a room.  I don’t have a green thumb, but a deadly thumb that kills plants at the slightest touch.  Decorators pooh-pooh fake plants but I don’t care.  It really is a lovely tree.

How about Atticus the Ficus Tree?


18 thoughts on “I Think That I Shall Never See A Poem As Beautiful As A Tree – On A Bus

  1. And to add to your story… Last week, when I was fulfilling my secondary function in the office of being the person who teaches management how to use Twitter, I used my reply to your Tweet from the bus to demonstrate how to trace back from a reply to the original message. My boss, and the features editor thought the idea of you riding the bus with a potted tree was hilarious.

    • I imagine it was hilarious. It struck me as bizarre to need to do such a thing. But Atticus *did* get home probably faster than it would have taken me to finally find a tax van. 😀

      • Several years ago, son and his former wife relocated to Vancouver. They had five rescued cats to be transported on the flight. Two of their friends were also moving west. I also wanted to visit my sister. So five of us, each with a cat carrier, carried the beasts through airport security, onto the flight, down the aisle, and stuffed them under the seat. Fellow passengers thought we were en route to a cat show. (Um yes. Five mangy moggies of dubious parentage?) Son and ex returned after finding house prices too high. Return visit to sister, and repeat of cats-on-board… Ex now history, and I have two of the beasts, instead of an Irish wolfhound….sigh. C’est la vie. Give me a tree on a bus any day.

  2. Oh, what a story to rescue your Atticus. I love Ficus plants. I have real one’s growing well over my head (and my room space, but why should I mind, they enjoy living with me ;o)

  3. Hi Judiang,
    It sounds like Atticus owes you one. Ha! Although I do havea fig tree that I bought my freshman year in college (1977, yikes!), it has only been kept alive through the tender care of my green thumb late father, and my green thumb hubby. Ha! I’m with you, silk all the way.
    Cheers! Grati ;->

  4. judiang, the Atticus is most elegant – definitely worth the bus trip! (Less certain the air-borne cats were, though). 🙂

  5. Hi Judiang,
    A great post. I could really see you walking into the bus with the ficus tree 😉 . At least – as it’s a silk tree – it won’t grow.
    I find ficus trees tend grow like weed. We have a really large ficus in our conference room and when the room is filled to the last space every so often guests have to sit under its twigs. They are always polite and pretend it’s normal to have one’s view blocked by twigs and leaves – That tree is really ugly but our boss loves it, waters it and generally looks after it. One day it will have filled out the entire room and we will have to hold our meetings somewhere else …
    I’d like to point out that I love plants – I just don’t like ficus trees 🙂

    • Your boss and his beloved tree! LOL! We tried to keep plants in our office but they eventually attracted some type of teeny tiny gnat. We had to get rid of them, alas.

  6. I must be dense – I had no idea that it was YOUR tree on the bus when I saw your tweet. I just figured you’d taken a photo of someone else’s tree on the bus.

    Nice tree! 🙂

    • Yes! So you thought I was getting all excited about some weirdo bringing a tree on a bus? That would have been too easy. 😀

  7. That story put a smile on my face. Lovely. 🙂 And it’s a good-looking tree, even if it’s not a real one! Hope Atticus will have a great new home with you.

  8. I had a ficus once but I killed it — it was the last plant I had. I have this enduring fantasy of having plants; somehow the ficus symbolizes stability for me.

    • Once I kept a small plant alive for several years. But through increased inattentiveness followed by overwatering, it turned into straggly looking horror. Eventually I put it out of its misery. I wouldn’t dare try to tend a tree.

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