A tale of the little tree…

By Mark Graham, Traffic Director @ NYCA

When I started work at NYCA three years ago, the philosophy of “grow” was what drew me here. The grove was the physical representation of that philosophy. The grove had plants associated with each of our clients and with agency anniversaries and other milestones. The grove was dominated by a large tree. It shaded our meetings. It sheltered us in the rain. It provided a feeling of tranquility as you walked in and out of the office.

Then one day the tree was gone. The building owners had it chopped down. All that was left was some bark and a few stumps. Michael tried to save some pieces to remember that tree, but that tree was gone. Where was our shade, where was the shelter?

Not too long after, I planted a seed. A seed of a sago palm. Most people don’t realize that it is not a palm at all, but rather a Cycad, a totally different type of plant. Cycads are a group of plants that are very primitive in their origins. Fossils have been found on almost every continent on the planet. What better representation of keeping the history of the old tree alive with than this! I watered the spot. I made sure it was free of weeds. There wasn’t anything there, but I knew where the seed was planted.

As the new tree sprouted this spring, I began to think back on that old tree. It was being replaced right before my eyes. With a tree that was going to be just as inspiring. Just as good at providing shade. Just as good at sheltering. Just as good at everything we valued the old tree for.

Then it dawned on me. The old tree was like an old employee. An employee that we thought was always going to be a part of the agency. She was the go-to person — but then she was gone. Guess what?! The “small trees” are being nurtured and growing to be even stronger. Would my sago palm have grown in the shade of the old tree that we found so fantastic? No. They prefer direct sunlight. Growing the sago palm in the shade typically gives one lanky, stretched-out leaves that are weak. If in too much shade, this species can actually just stall and do nothing. Just as the employees are thriving now that they are in the direct light of their own – they will be strong!

4 Responses to A tale of the little tree…

  1. efficientcom says:

    Nice. Who doesn’t appreciate shade from a Sago palm?

  2. Linh says:

    Interesting story. It reminds me of how some plants, although they are very tiny, but they can endure great hardship from the environment around them. I have a question for you. If I were to show you two paintings. One painting, is a painting of sunny day on a calm lake that is surrounded by mountains that are picturesque, and the other is a painting of a gloomy and rainy day with lightning on top of the waterfall. However, inside this waterfall, within the crack of the rocks there lies a small bird nest with the mother bird feeding her child. Which painting would you choose to represent the essence of serenity?

    • nycagrow says:

      Small can mean big, if you know what we mean. Love that protest song by Bob Marely, “If you are a big tree, we are a small axe.” Of course, at NYCA we love all trees. Thanks for stopping in.

  3. Melissa says:

    To many small trees growing into a forest that is stronger, wiser and bears more fruit than one big tree ever could.
    cheers to you all and the culture of grow!

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