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.
It kept my trust.