Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Palm Tree In Sioux City

The Midwest is not known for its palm trees, but all around the area Palm Sunday is celebrated. At this posting it is the Sunday before Easter, which commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, when palm fronds were strewn before him as a sign of respect.

In accordance with that triumphant day it is remembered “Hosanna! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!” the people of Jerusalem shouted, and Jesus entered the city on a donkey in accordance with the scripture.

And we in the Heartland celebrate.

Yes, palm fronds, or palm trees, hold promise of a better time—and better weather. Perhaps that is why there is a shimmering gold palm tree located on the Westside of Sioux City. On dark nights it shines and sparkles, and it is hard to miss—even as it stands before a business. For the indoctrinated, it is easy to see why the owner put it there.

It is not within the scope of this article to explore the many metaphorical ramifications of palm trees. For those who have lived with them it is simply a matter of longing.

Leo Thiner, a native to the plains near Worthington, MN shares the same feeling as many who have returned from gentler climes.

“Where are the palm trees,” he asks.

Indeed. Where are the palm trees?

For many, palm trees symbolize not only Christ, but California. Or perhaps Hawaii. And like the freezing cold of this place this winter, the trees are in the news.

In southern California, for example, palm trees are in trouble, according to the MSNBC website, and many are dying.

“The trees are dying of old age and a fungal disease, disappearing one by one from parks and streets,” MSNBC reports.

Of course, not all palm trees are infected, and there is no danger of palm tress vanishing altogether, according to the article. But some parts of the city will look noticeably different in the years ahead.

Many of the palm trees in southern California are stately, very tall, and are often like standing next to a telephone pole. This reporter remembers those trees, and they are nothing like the one in Sioux City, or even many palm trees in northern California.

The palm trees are real in northern California, of course, but they are much closer to the ground like the artificial one on the Westside of Sioux City. A walker can find bush-sized palms in northern California, such as in the valley town of Chico, and other places less well known. Living with them can actually feel Biblical, like being transported to a wondrous time, not to mention into a better clime.

For palm tree lovers everywhere this blog will be posting that shimmering, golden palm (if the Observer’s camera can recorded it) as soon as work and weather permit. It is a palm tree on the prairie, out in a place called Perry Creek in Sioux City, Iowa.

Editor's note: The Observer's camera captured this on a beautiful, cold winter sunset almost a year after this posting. We have added it for this update.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, where are the Palm trees Mr Switzer? Where ever you may paint one! Leo Joseph Thiner

September 05, 2012  

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