Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Once There Was a Tree....

There is a tree in front of my home. It has been there longer than I have been alive, moved from the back yard to the front by my parents when they bought the house. Sometime in my early years, I moved into the room at the front of the house, so I could see this tree outside my window.

It is a Silver Maple, the first tree I ever climbed. It cradled me in its branches, and played with me when none of the other kids would. It was a spaceship and a castle, an airplane and a tree house. It kept my secrets and told me the weather. It was my friend.

For years, my mother has been wanting to have it cut down. It's too close to the house and the roots may damage the foundation. I understand the reasons, I hear it's a common thing with Maple trees, but I don't have to like it. My father and I fought it for as long as we could, but mom hired someone and he's coming to kill my tree today. I've asked for him to save me some wood. It's such a beautiful life, and I can't help but feel that a very dear friend is leaving me.

I had a shirt that was its exact color of leaves in the spring, perfect for hiding. The underside was silvery, and I could always tell when a storm was coming when the tree turned the silver sides of its leaves to the wind. I have some of its leaves from a decade ago, when my tree was the focus of a biology project. In it's youth, the bark was silver gray and smooth. I took a rubbing of the bark on Monday. Did you know when the bark of a Maple puckers, like it's weight is heavy on it, it's a sign of a well-aged and established tree? I have a little piece of its bark too.

I thought I would have more time.

It's out of my hands now. When I come home from work today, it won't be there, just a pile of sawdust where my tree once stood. We're going to put a Cherry Blossom in its place, my second favorite kind of tree. And I will get to work sealing my wood so it won't crack as it dries.

I am not too old to love a tree.

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