Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oh Linden Tree, Oh Linden Tree, How Lovely Are Thy Branches

When I think of my family history the linden tree comes to mind. I suppose that’s partly because one branch of my family has the surname of LIPA, which in Polish means, “linden tree”. Until I started researching my family history I’d never heard of the linden tree. After a bit of research on the surname, and the tree, I learned that here in the U.S. the linden is sometimes referred to as a basswood tree. The wood from the basswood tree is very lightweight. If you’ve ever had wooden blinds on your windows, you’ve had basswood in your home.

In thinking about the type of tree that most reminds me of my family’s history, I considered several types of trees. Just because one branch of my family had the LIPA surname does not mean that the characteristics of the linden/basswood tree are similar to the characteristics of my family. So I did a bit of research and discovered that indeed the linden tree and my family have some characteristics in common.

 For instance, the linden tree is known to have dense foliage. And, there are several members of my extended family that I also think of as “dense”.

“Nuts”? Did you say, nuts? Yes, the linden tree has them (referred to as “fruit”) and so does my family. Many, in fact.

The linden tree has a tendency to produce “suckers”. And so does my family!

The shape of the foliage on the linden tree is generally conical. Yep, I have some real cone heads in my family too.

Ya see where I’m going with this?

The linden tree is a perfect metaphor for my family tree!

All joking aside, the linden tree has leaves of “gold” in the autumn, and I have some family members who were golden oldies too. They are very precious to me.

The linden has large heart-shaped leaves, and I have some family members with big hearts too.

The linden tree is very popular in Poland. And of course my family’s roots come from there as well.

Yes, I would say the linden is the tree that most reminds me of my family’s history. And a fine tree it is.

[Written for the 110th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy]