the word "tree," having repeated it to myself about fifty times in the last thirty seconds, sounds terribly funny right now. probably one of those vestigial germanic words we get to pull out of the english language stew pot when we speak or spell it out, it's short, but deceptively simple. involving some fancy tongue-work to keep those consonants under control in a single syllable, saying "tree" is a tiny linguistic miracle. sprouting from the closed seed of the mouth, tongue behind teeth, it grows outward into a double-voweled umbrella of clean, green, ebullient and--let's be honest--funny sound.
in the southern reaches of europe, latin words simmered and stewed in the cultural cauldron of spain; through chemical reaction of linguistic cookery, arbor transformed and softened to árbol. opening out subtly, then reaching downward into a strong trunk of second syllable, árbol is yet another way--more mellifluous perhaps--of naming those leafy, needly things.
perched on a rocky outcropping, potted or planted in the ground outside, trees--árboles--send roots through their soil, anchoring themselves to what they need. sometimes it seems they survive beyond reasonable odds, and i'm glad for those tiny biological miracles, since the odds of life without them would be slim as an aspen sapling.
forests, in close communion of roots and shade, harbor a magic that makes fairy tales real. but i doubt they'll ever achieve the power to captivate an imagination in a startling instant like that of a solitary tree. i argue the truth of that statement with another spanish word as my main defense: insólito, or that which is singular, in every sense of the word: being only one, but being remarkable--that which delightfully pulls you away from your platonic conception of a tree's form. allow me to prove my point.
where a window pane might complete the smooth exterior is, indeed, a tree. an árbol, if you will, completely and captivatingly insólito. i've had many a turn--i give it now to you, to contemplate, to come up with commentary and your own ideas of metaphor. have fun.