I grew up with the trees.
The Climbing Tree, big and leafy, with branches that invited you to stay awhile.
There is something about climbing a tree that makes you feel
When you know that tree well enough
That the climbing is smooth and confident?
That feels so good-
Like dancing and defying gravity.
Your momentum and strength pull you up and up,
And it’s hardly even work.
The bruises and scrapes from the bark
Are badges of honour.
The Lilac Tree-
Right where our lawns met,
The perfect meeting place for me and my friends.
The vulnerability of waiting hopefully out in plain sight somehow wasn’t scary then.
The Trees of Knowledge of Good and Evil-
Three ginormous, fluffy-looking evergreen trees, standing in a row.
Exactly perfect for teasing a little brother.
I would run away from him, dashing and hiding between the trees,
And when his frustration grew to the point where
Tears began to flow,
I would show up
To tenderly comfort him.
Good and evil, I tell you.
An entire orchard of elderly apple trees- wrinkly-barked and blossomy!
What a marvelous place to grow up.
The perfect place for playing “Little House on the Prairie”,
For playing soccer,
For striking out while playing baseball with the neighbour boys.
I cried inside later because I knew I could hit that ball,
And they had laughed as though they thought I couldn’t.
The Orchard even had a creek and a big old
Potentially haunted house.
The Birch Tree-
It sure was hard to resist the temptation to peel
Some of that smooth bark off and write notes on it.
It just made such great paper.
Better than regular paper, for sure.
Planted the year I was born,
A red maple.
I always felt very fondly towards that tree.
For a long time,
I thought that everyone had a tree that was planted in honour of their existence,
And when I found out that wasn’t the case,
I felt extra lucky and extra sad.
Sometimes I feel sad that my tree can’t come with me through life,
But a bigger part of me likes that
It’s still there
Bigger than ever
On the property I grew up on.
I’m so glad that I got to
Grow up with the trees.