A few weeks ago, the kids and Renee and I got in our little white van with a friend and her daughters to travel in the sun to a nearby Banyan tree. A Banyan sends shoots and roots up throughout a large area, many of which look like other trees, but are in fact all part of the same tree.
My friend was from England, from Devon, with daughters so round and brown-eyed and freckled that I wanted to scoop them up and keep them forever. (Not to mention their accents: "It's all rather muddled, isn't it?") She's gone back since, so this was a special farewell trip, to a tree that another friend had told us about.
"The canopy is as big as this whole restaurant," he said, throwing his arms out expansively.
We drove along, our directions limited to: "When you pass the petrol station and then look off and to the left, you'll see it out there, in the middle of a big field."
I wasn't ready to stop driving, we reached it so quickly, so I drove a little farther and got myself into a bit of a pickle trying to turn around, while small British voices in the back called, "I want to go back to the tree!"
We parked. As we approached the tree, about 20 huge Langur monkeys departed, swinging down effortlessly and loping away to a distant spot. They watched our invasion of their perch impassively.
I thought the tree would be kinda neat, but it was not merely neat. It was majestic. It was peaceful, it was shady, it was a perfect play place in a hot field. Perfect for monkeys, perfect for people. The Banyan is quickly becoming one of my favorite trees. Like the Madrone, or the Sequoia. Or the Oak. Well, I could go on and on. I guess I just like trees. Big surprise.
After I wandered around for awhile with the camera, I handed it to Kid A, so that he could take some shots. Later, when I looked through them, I was happily surprised by what he saw and snapped.
Here's the day through Kid A's eyes.
Then YaYa took the camera for a while. Here's some of the day in her eyes.
At the end of our time we all joined hands and wove in and out of the branches singing, "The Banyan tree, the Banyan tree, God made the Banyan tree, the Banyan tree, the Banyan tree, lots of shade for you and me..." And there were other verses, but I won't trouble you with them here.