Four Siblings Bonsai

November 10, 2021

Reflections, Day 33

“If it weren’t for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.” Carl Perkins

A brief synopsis: My brother Tom began painting a group of poplar trees every day. In mid 2019, he reduced the number of trees in the painting to 4. He called these “The Four Siblings. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that the four siblings were me, Tom, Billy, and Mary. Our beloved Billy passed away a few years ago, but the memories remain and gain strength as time goes by.

Tom kept painting the four trees through the Covid isolation—every day. He later told me that there were well over 700 paintings. When we look back on them it is amazing to see the changes in his detailed paintings.

And then, a year or so ago, Randy Eidson made an Arbor Day donation and they gave him some tree seedlings which he passed on to me. I used four of the trees, in just the right positions, to plant a bonsai garden. The name of the garden is, of course, The Four Siblings. In this garden, there are three dogwoods and one eastern redbud.

Last spring we watched the trees and were delighted to see them change daily as they added leaves and began to grow. As they grew, I did a bit of pruning and shaping to bring out their full character. They reached out their leafy arms and basked in the morning sunlight.

Yesterday, I went to check on the trees and was taken by the brilliance of their leaves as they prepared to bed down for the winter. The evening sun highlighted the leaves. In the mirror one may see the colors of Dekie’s beautiful Japanese maple, enjoying the sun as it sets an example for the youngsters.

Perhaps the trees will bloom some day.

—john schulz

Published by John P.Schulz

I lost my vocal cords a while back due to throat cancer. The laryngectomy sent me on a quest to find and learn to use my new, altered voice. I am able to talk now with a really small and neat new prosthesis. My writing reflects what I have learned in my search for a voice. My site publishes a daily motivational quote and a personal comment. I write an article a week for my blog, which deals with a lot of the things that I do in the garden. I am also the author of Requiem for a Redneck and the new Redemption for a Redneck--novels portraying the lives and doings of folks around the north Georgia hills. I have an English Education degree from the University of Georgia and very happily married to the lovely Dekie Hicks. You may enjoy my daily Quotes and Notes at

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