The Tree In The Yard

As I was growing up, there was a tree in our front yard.  To me it was massive.  It reached higher than our three story house.

Odd as it may sound, I trusted that tree.

I often sat at the window, or even kneeled, looking out the window of my second story bedroom.  It was there that I thought.  I couldn’t tell you now what I thought about then.  I could describe to you how I felt, staring at that tree.  But I won’t.  Those belonged to a child and a childhood.  And a tree.

Just outside the window…that tree was there through everything.  It was there if I stood there laughing.  Or crying.  It was there as I opened the closet door and was surprised to find my first bicycle waiting in the closet for me to come home after school and change.  It was there when I put my paper on the windowsill and wrote.  Because I thought I could write.

Though I can’t tell you precisely what I thought about I can tell you that it included frustrations, fears, joys, but mostly-dreams.  Wishes.  Possibilities.  Sitting or kneeling there.  With rain coming down.  Or sunshine and blue skies.  Or darkness and stars sprinkled above the leaves.

I stared at that tree from that window, and later from the third story bedroom window, for more time than I looked at any other one thing.

That tree caught so many of my drifting and aimless, or pointed and poignant, thoughts.  If that tree could communicate with me-it would be able to tell more about me and my childhood than I could.

On a few rare occasions since I left my youth I have traveled down this childhood street.  I have parked the car to look.

The tree still stands.

It doesn’t look as massive as it once appeared.  Not physically.

But it looks like it has held up under my dreams and angsts.

It looked familiar.  Comfortable.  And safe.

And

It kept my trust.

 

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47 thoughts on “The Tree In The Yard

  1. russtowne says:

    I noticed a smile had grown on my face as I read your post, Colleen. You picked a good friend all those years ago. I believe that tree would be proud of what you wrote, yet humble. Most trees are that way. I suspect that tree would be proud of you, and pleased to see how much you’v grown. All that quiet listening to you really paid off.

  2. Morpheus Zzz says:

    “My” tree housed a rickety tree house. Like yours, mine seemed so big and it was scary to climb up the rungs nailed to its side and through the square cut-out “doorway” (scooting on my belly because I was scared of heights). My tree was patient with me as I clung to it in fear looking down onto the street.

    I had a HORRIBLE cousin who was a decade older than me who lived across the street with his multitude of siblings who liked to scare me by pretending to fall out of that treehouse. (He also laughed his butt off when his big dog knocked my seven-year-old self over and proceeded to “hump” me so I couldn’t get back up! I know, I know, but he was still a big meany head.)

    My little town had a bout of Dutch Elm Disease. The trees in our yard, along with most others in town, didn’t make it and had to be cut down. I still mourn “my” tree. I can still picture it today (over 30 years later) when I go back to visit my mom.

    Thank you for sharing your tree. You brought back some good (and not so good–haha) memories for me as well. I’m glad yours is still standing strong.

  3. Beautiful description of your tree, Colleen 🙂
    Think, if trees were able to tell us about all, what they have seen and heard in their life.

    • Thank you Irene. I have wondered this. I have taken some trips to see some very old trees and I always think of the hundreds of years of ‘breath’ that still lives in those trees.

  4. anie says:

    that’s nice to share memories with a tree. I think everyone has memories like that and they do not necessarily have to be shared with trees. 100% reliable companions who do not cheat or betray. It can also be walls in a room or buildings … things that survive and experience more than just us. I had a coat hook in the kindergarden with a scooter picture on it. That was mine. My son went to the same kindergarten for a while and he even had my kindergarten teacher. I have seen my coat hook again and so many memories of this kindergarten.

  5. ivor20 says:

    A tree of trust, a tree of growth, a tree of memories, and the tree of life, I would love to have a chat with your wonderfully wise big tree.

  6. I too had MY tree. It wasn’t outside my window but I could see it from my bedroom. I spent many hours, and happy times sitting in the tree top, sailing a ship, climbing mountains, driving a train, and moving with the wind. I could see a great distance, but nobody knew I was there. Even the memory is bliss!

    • I love that Peter, that no one knew you were there. There was a large pine tree a few houses down….I could go there and go under the tree and hide in the canopy of it’s branches. You named it….bliss. 🙂

  7. Jodi says:

    what beautiful thoughts! You are so fortunate to have had that reliable tree throughout your youth!

  8. markbialczak says:

    What a lovely and lasting memory, MBC. Thanks for allowing it to branch out into our world.

  9. Trusting the tree doesn’t sound odd to me. 🙂

  10. What a lovely post Colleen!

  11. I seriously love your writing! ❤

  12. Good post my friend. A pleasure to read.

  13. I have a similar tree in my back yard – offers me so much trust and stability. I always think how much this tree knows of me …how it has stood there through it all, for me to see.

  14. ksbeth says:

    and trust is everything. have you ever read ‘the giving tree?’, it’s one of my favorites and always makes me cry, but it’s so beautiful .

  15. tric says:

    I’m glad you had your tree. In a busy house it’s good to have somewhere to share our dreams and fears outside of family. I wonder does it hold many peoples memories? Perhaps that is what has kept it alive all these years?

  16. breadseagull says:

    Wow, your writing is so beautiful and captivating. I love it.

  17. Our memories help us in so many ways. good job.

  18. reocochran says:

    I once wrote a post called, “There is Peace in Trees.” There is so much found in the presence of such an unbending, magnificent tree! I had one in my backyard. We had “oak blight” but not until we all had slept overnight in our treehouse. 😊

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