When Norm and I arrived at our hotel in Metz, France, the first thing I noticed was this majestic tree just hanging out next to the lamp post. I knew at that moment that this was going to be a city I’d love – and I was right.

That gorgeous tree was a most striking anomaly encased in smooth, yet mottled bark.

Later that afternoon, as we made our way deeper into the city, I happened upon a lone tree surrounded by buildings and cars and the noises of city life. This is the kind of tree that evokes pity, trapped in the middle of the hubbub.

The lucky trees live in the church yard overlooking the sleepy river.

They get to visit with the swans who call the river home.

Just look at this tree who decided that he wanted to be a water-born tree – like the cypresses or tallows in Louisiana. I don’t blame him.

Right there, deep inside that knot hole is where I’d make my home if I were a Metz bird. Wouldn’t you?

The trees on the opposite side of the church bask nonchalantly in the shade of the great edifice.

They seem to feel comfortable living there in the shadow of the house of God.

Of course….

Even the on-high divine

Cannot protect the sublime

From the ravages of time.

Lumps come with age – even for trees.

The time came too soon for us to head back to the City of Light. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my good fellows. I didn’t want to leave the trees for the cold, drab megalopolis. I had no choice – I had to go….

but not before giving them a proper hug.

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