"Oh Christmas Tree!"

Lorin R. Robinson

© Moronic Ox Literary Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books 
Moronic Ox Literary and Cultural Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books                                                     Advertise your book, CD, or cause in the 'Ox'
Novel Excerpts, Short Stories, Poetry, Multimedia, Current Affairs, Book Reviews, Photo Essays, Visual Arts                                                      Submissions

It stood in the living room.

Drying. Dying. Festooned with twinkling lights and gaudy spun glass ornaments, sacrificed to a pagan ritual it could not understand, sawn and separated from the Mother, from its roots and rhizomes radiating through the rich loam of the forest floor.

The tree hadn’t known its trunk would be placed in water to sustain it. So, after the saw brought it down, the tree instinctively sent sap to the wound, closing it to conserve moisture. The tree-stand water couldn’t penetrate, hastening its death.
To pass time, the tree remembered halcyon days.

Its seed bursting from the cone, floating freely on the wind, falling on the Mother’s breast in the center of a sunny clearing. Of germinating, taking root. Of growing straight and tall. The feeling of moisture and nutrients rising through its trunk. Of synthesizing food with its chlorophyll and the carbon dioxide it inhaled. Of exhaling life-giving oxygen.

It remembered restful slumber in the crackling cold of winter, snow and ice coating its green needles. Of sheltering small animals under its spreading limbs.
It remembered awakening in spring. Warming sunshine. Melting snow. The rush of sustenance from the Mother to quell its growing hunger. The growth spurt. Its seed cones forming. Birds nesting in its protective embrace.

It remembered golden summer. Sunlight pouring through its limbs, pooling like honey. Of swaying gently in the warm wind. Of the dryness, driving its roots ever deeper to tap needed moisture.

It remembered fall when its deciduous friends turned resplendent in reds, yellows, orange, ochre, rich browns. The first frost. First snow. Sleepiness.

Now the tree was dying. It wondered if death would be like the sleep of winter. A sleep from which it would not awaken.

It longed to commune one last time with the Mother, with everything.

Instead, the tree listened as its browning needles fell, pattering on the garishly wrapped packages spread beneath.

Lorin Robinson’s career has been split primarily between university teaching/administration and business.  

He chaired the Journalism Department at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls for 10 years after founding and managing the school’s public radio station. He then joined 3M Company as a marketing communications manager. After 24 years at 3M, he returned to teaching—in the Graduate College of Business, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis.

Robinson has BS and MS Degrees in Journalism from Northwestern University and a PhD in Communication from the University of Minnesota.

Over the years he has also worked as a journalist, photojournalist, magazine writer and radio announcer.

He and his wife, Linda, split their time between Lake Elmo, MN; Taos, NM and Baja California Sur, Mexico.