Though the tree has a chequered reputation, all Saints Day and all Souls Day are nearing and Remembrance Day is approaching and for we who have admired The Tree of Heaven it is a reminder of those who have gone before. At 85 one can be forgiven from elegiac writing. This week the pianist and I had lunch in the Chemainus Theatre and through the north window of the restaurant observed the Tree of Heaven reaching to the sky, its seeds all but gone, but flourishing in the dry and unforgiving pavement. When as a young surgeon I worked for some years in the Veteran's Hospital in Lotus City, the Tree of Heaven was spread throughout the streets north of the hospital that one could watch through the OR windows as the beautiful red and brown helicopter seeds spread throughout the neighborhood from Adanac street where it was originally planted. My thoughts gravitated to All Saints Day and All Souls Day and the Veterans including those under our care and the upcoming Remembrance Day and the Tree of Heaven. The tree is called a weed tree by the cranky, but if it seeds where not wanted you can mow out the sprouts from now to Kingdom Come. In the meantime for all those Veterans now gone, and so "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. ----And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
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