Pure Tree

Look at the quickbeam spread by dividing evenly, over and over again.

Not so the poplar. It prefers to raise for the top. The multiplicity and order are here, but they are cast against the sun, not the trunk. The trunk just follows these rushing leaves.

And the filbert? The best of all at growing multiple trunks? The order is in the catkins moreso than in the wood or the leaves.

The grasses show this drive most purely, this quickening, as it is called, rushing up through fibres towards the sun. For them, one becomes two by becoming many and remaining one. No wonder that grass has often been likened to soldiers.

This multiplicity through repetition of singularity, this quickening individually to become one together, is not unique is not unique to plants. Starklings are adept at all these tricks.

And yet of all these quickened and extended bodies, only the oldest of trees, the elm, is called quickbeam. Here she is covered in seed in the spring.

It’s not that she is a tree, or a beam, a bar of light flooding out of a grove, and grows quickly, hence “quickbeam” or “fast tree,” but that her quickness makes a beam, that central pillar, while others express themselves entirely differently. The peach, for instance, that avoids its own shade so that its fruit can be in the sun. Her branches grow in a pattern determined by the weight of the fruit in conversation with the hormones in her twigs. Lightness is not part of her nature and her shade is heavy and secretive.

But a quickbeam, oh, it is all about creating a beam of quick. Whatever else happens, no other twig has to compete with that, or each other.

Talk about unity, eh!

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