“Wrapped in 41,300 white lights, the big oak warms hearts for miles around”

Image courtesy Marlin Levison, Minneapolis Star Tribune

In this season of trees that blaze like chandeliers and branches that look to be draped with stars, the Star Tribune has a story by Mary Lynn Smith, about a light-wrapped tree, A tree glows in Bloomington, that really stands out.

The Star Tribune reports:

On a hill in Bloomington stands a 53-foot oak tree that few notice in the light of day.

But when darkness falls, a switch flips and there is light: 41,300 white lights, to be exact, that wrap the tree’s trunk and every branch, creating a glow that can be seen for miles along the Minnesota River Valley. It’s a spectacular sight along a stretch of Hwy. 77 south of the Mall of America.

They come in cars, tour buses and limousines from the time the tree is lit on Thanksgiving night until the plug is pulled on New Year’s Day.

There was the sailor who stopped by to ask whether he could propose to his girlfriend in front of the tree the next night. The family who snapped a photo for their annual Christmas card. The airline pilot who insisted to his wife that they find the “beacon of light” that he flew over. And then there are the children who dance with wonder under the tree.

“It’s so wonderful for the soul,” Bob Little said. “You only have to see a crippled girl get out of a van at the end of the driveway … and operate this wheelchair, coming up the driveway. Our driveway is 100 yards long. And then you hear her say: ‘Daddy, could we move here? Because this is awesome.’ What better Christmas present can we get?”

Read the full story here.

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