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Thick chunky bark, glossy green leaves, trunks that show off diameter and seedpods of cotton waiting for launch are some Cottonwood tree traits, but the trait I like best can be heard better than explained. It's the sound of a multitude of leaves clapping in the wind and sounding like water rushing, trickling or pulsing.   

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12

When I was a young girl I lived near mature Cottonwoods. It's where I first came to love them. Sunny, dusty and hot were some of the summer days spent flomping barefoot through soft dirt and a carpet of matted  and sweetly scented decaying Cottonwood leaves. One summer a friend and I collected as much cotton (pods of cotton seed) from the trees as we could so we could make a matress. As the summer wore on, we decided a pillow would be better and by the end, we congratulated ourselves on a good idea and decided we'd had fun collecting cotton pods, opening pods for the bit of dried silky cotton and filling small paper bags.

We eventually let go our cushiony idea and released our cotton stuffing to the wind, mused about the superiority of "field cotton" and wondered where the downy seeds would land and grow.


Olivia Arlene said…
I love Cottonwood trees! I always enjoy your posts mom :-)

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