The Trees

The trees in my backyard have so much character, as ever-changing as the seasons in New England. In the summer they offer a large canopy of green, shielding us from the sun, yet still allowing dappled light to filter through. The birds must make their homes in a couple of them. I found an empty nest on the ground in the fall, and was going to keep it because it was so perfect, just laying there on the ground. Unfortunately, Bear decided to mark it as his own, so on the ground it stayed, as a reminder that the winter would soon be upon us.
The Autumn brought brilliant colors in those trees. Even when all of the leaves let go and landed gently on the lawn, I still saw the beauty in them. Sure, it was week after week of raking, bagging and disposing of them, but for a bit there was a beautiful carpet of color where the green grass once was. Bear enjoyed running through them, and I laughed liked a child every time he went out. He would run all over the yard, trying to mark as many leaves as he could. Honestly, he’s quite a possessive puppy, and believes the world is his oyster. I don’t mind, so long as the marking is being done outside and not in. Halle also enjoyed the leaves. She collected many, pressed them in folders in her room, and one weekend made a wreath with those she had carefully chosen. That wreath hung on our front door until our Christmas wreath went up. She also chose a spot in the yard that had an abundance of colors, and carefully removed leaves until there was one word left, showing gloriously against the still green grass – LOVE. I took a picture and I have it saved as the lock screen on my phone.
The Autumn also brought a storm, Hurricane Sandy. We fared pretty well, but there were moments that I watched out the window as the wind and rain whipped around. Those trees swayed and bent and dropped twigs and branches, but for the most part, they stood firm. They would not be broken, no matter what Mother Nature threw at them that day. They showed me strength. They taught me that life will throw storms at you, but if you’re willing to bend under the pressure, you won’t break. When the storm passes, you may be a little beat up, but you’ll still be standing tall.
Now that winter is here, I stand out on the deck at night and stare up at the trees. On a clear night, I can see the stars through their bare branches. They stand guard along the back of the yard, seemingly a sentry to offer protection against whatever may come our way. In the wind, they make different noises. Some of the higher branches clack together, and sound like a game of croquet I once played at a friend’s house. Lower down the trunk, there must be branches closer together. They make the sound of a bow on a violin. Nature’s music. I could listen to it all night. During the day, I can see where an empty nest still sits high above the ground in the crook where the branch meets to trunk. I can see an old, deflated Mylar balloon caught up high in the tallest tree. It was here when we moved in, and I can’t see what occasion it was for, but I hope it was a happy one. I watch the squirrels scamper around the trunks and through the branches, always keeping an eye on me and Bear to make sure neither of us are getting too close. I don’t know where their homes are, but I see them carrying strips of bark from the neighbor’s log pile off, a little at a time. We have had a mild winter so far, but they know the worst is yet to come. They are preparing for the real cold.
I haven’t been in this home long enough to see the Spring, but I can imagine. The trees will rejoice, reawaken as the months pass. They will start to bud. At first, it will be hard to notice. Then, as the days go by, their branches will appear to have a faint greenish glow about them. A glow of health. A glow of new beginnings. Then one day I’ll look out the window, and the canopy will have blossomed again.
Yes, the trees in my yard have much character. I’m so incredibly happy that I’ve had the chance to meet them. I hope we have a few good years left together. I think they will be able to teach me much about my own character.


One thought on “The Trees

  1. Ryan says:

    Very cool Nik!

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