23 May 2013

age of innocence

in my childhood yard there were several trees. on the front lawn was one as fat as it was tall. it loomed, like an angry god over the front lawn, and in the fall its leaves became the color of red delicious apples. when the leaves turned, the tree seemed to fatten -- welling up like a hot face. in the backyard were many, but one cherry blossom tree that soared higher than the rest. i climbed that one often (when mom wasn't watching), and curled into a branch near the top with a book. one day i fell asleep and tumbled off, landing, twisted, on a bed of fallen blossoms. i writhed, but couldn't let on where i'd been, hobbling back to the house, back to the wood floors and wide windows, and the bathroom with the promise of a bathtub and bandaids in the cabinet. 

and those were the big, long-living trees. 

but there was another tree. a tiny, little thing that burst out of the grass in the middle of the yard. it didn't seem like it belonged there, and i don't think it did. (like the one spring when my brother planted corn in the yard, and just one ear grew.) it was an ugly tree -- maybe three feet tall, scrawny, and whitish. i named it pat. i loved that tree. it was too tiny to cast shade on a tiny body, but i'd sit beneath it. the shadows crossed delicate like a spiderweb across my face. 

and when i think about childhood i think about a lot of skinned knees and lemonade stands and nights chasing fireflies -- but then i always remember that tree, too. that thing that registered weed to every adult eye scanning the yard, but how perfect it was to me. and i was just thinking about that little tree -- and the sepia-toned nature of children's eyes. i am a good person. but i can be better. i can choose to love the things that others find unlikeable, that i find unlikeable too. goodness starts with loving a weed. goodness starts with me. 


  1. This is lovely! Thank you.

  2. This is beautiful. I can't love it enough.

  3. Lovely story... :)

    A few hours ago I went for a walk, and it had just rained. The smell of rain on the warm road reminded me of my childhood, and yet I have no idea why. I love this kind of memories.

  4. I think it's amazing to look back at your childhood and see it in this beautiful way. Weeds to adults are beautiful treasures to a child!

  5. Loving this kind of memories.. Flowers, trees and rain remind me of my childhood..

  6. Lovely post! Thank you for visiting my blog, following you now on Bloglovin and GFC
    Follow back and Lets stay connected,
    Kisses from Miami,

  7. LOVE your outfit! Cute photos!

  8. I loved reading this, it took me there. So beautiful.

  9. really lovely. love the photos too. xx

  10. oh dear me. this is the loveliest of all lovely things.

    we have these two trees in our backyard that are tall and stand just close enough together to give the appearance of a doorway. i used to pretend that if you walked through them you would go into another world. ahh, the good days of childhood.

    p.s. i think you and charlie brown would make good friends with your love of the scrawny sad little trees that just need to be loved.