Tree and home

June 26 (Xiongan Official Net) -- An old locust tree grows in Zuogezhuang Village, Xiong County, Xiongan New Area, and its lush canopy reflects shade of green. In the summer of June, the locust tree and its green shade becomes a resort for old people to chat and children to play.

Tracing back the story of the old locust, the villagers only know that the tree has been with them since their childhood. Since then, the old locust tree has stayed here with its thick trunk and wide canopy. As time flies, the locust stays still but the children who used to play under the tree have turned into their 60s.

The 68-year-old Feng Ziqiang is sitting in the shade of the tree. (Photo/Ma Mengdi)

It is said that this old locust tree has a long history of 200 years, the same as Zuogezhuang Village. Yin Wenliang, member of the Party Branch Committee, introduces that the old locust tree has become the sign of Zuogezhuang Village because villagers used to rally together under the tree to hold meetings.

"When the village was first built, there were only a few dozen households in the village. And now there are more than 500. The tree has witnessed everything in Zuogezhuang," said Yin Wenliang.

"I loved to play around the old locust tree when I was a kid. All the children in my village liked to climb on and play around it then," said 68-year-old Feng Ziqiang, sitting in the shade. The old man becomes energetic again talking about the tree, introducing the story of the tree to the reporters.

"I am too old to play around the tree, but I still like to sit down under the locust tree and chat with my friends. The tree also keeps our memories," Feng Ziqiang explains happily touching the thick trunk.

Feng Ziqiang and Yin Xinghua with the old locust tree. (Photo/Ma Mengdi)

Yin Xinghua, chatting with Feng Ziqiang under the tree, is 77 years old this year. Their homes are next to the old locust tree. Chatting and playing chess under the tree every day has been their habits for decades.

"It is just two of us today. Here you can see four or five chairs under the tree. This place has become our buddies' base," Yin Xinghua said with a smile, "Do you see the broken branches? We used to climb onto the branches and play; it seems like the broken branches were resulted by us."

Touching the section of a tree trunk about 15 centimeters in diameter, Yin Xinghua excitedly told the reporter about their stories with the old locust tree.

Yin Xinghua with the old locust tree. (Photo/Ma Mengdi)

"It was a strange hole, where people used to pull saw every day," said Yin Xinghua. In order to explain the meaning of "pulling saw" to the reporter, the old man explained behind the locust tree with gestures. "They would flatten this and fix the wood. One man would stand on this side and another on the other side when they sawed wood." Yin Xinghua patted the old locust tree and said to the reporter, "You are too young to see people pulling a big cross saw. The old tree has witnessed everything!"

With the advance of resettlement work in Xiongan New Area, elderly people's feelings for the old locust tree have changed gradually.

"Having lived in the village for a whole life, we feel the tree has become part of our life. Only when we are about to move do we feel the reluctance clearly."

Feng Ziqiang looked up at the wide canopy affectionately and said softly, "For us, home is the tree; the tree is like our home. I hope it can continue to witness the significant changes of this area together with us."