When we lived in Rochester, my home office was on the second floor of our townhouse. I had a view of the courtyard, including a large and very beautiful tree. I loved to watch that tree change with the seasons.
Every autumn, when the beautiful leaves fell, I felt a sense of loss because the tree looked dead. I don’t love winter, so the fact that “my” tree was bare was just another reason to like the snowy season even less. When the tree sprouted tiny buds in the spring, I watched with great anticipation until the first leaf popped out. In the summer, the tree was full and grand; its shade made a cool spot for me to sit outside with lunch or a book.
When I was pregnant with our daughter, I watched the seasons change on the tree while I waited for her to be born. When she was little, we sat under the tree, walked around its trunk, read in its shade, and examined its leaves.
When we were preparing to move, my husband surprised me with a large, framed picture of my tree. It was so simple, but it is one of the best gifts I have ever received.
Today, I was outside with my daughter, and we were looking at the fall colors. We were surrounded by so much beauty, and it took me back to that tree. I treasured the memories, but I realized we were making a new one. (Then, I held her in my arms; now, she’s almost as tall as I am. How did that happen?) As I gave her a hug, she teased me for taking this picture. “Another tree, Mom? It’s ok. I like this one, too.”