I never really remembered life without the tree.
It was one of those things that was an ever-present reality in my life growing up….along with The Love Boat and Charleston Chew and Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans.
My father had moved it as a sapling to a spot right beyond the drive-way.
And there it grew year after year……
…..straight and tall as an arrow.
As a teenager I almost backed into it.
As an adult, I sat in the back yard with on a cool, crisp fall afternoon and watched as big wheels and tricycles and scooters raced by it at lightning speed.
And the leaves fell every fall.
And grew again every spring.
As season after season tiptoed across its branches.
My father loved that tree.
He was so proud of it.
He watered it through the hot, dry summers and trimmed its leaves and watched it grow.
I think it was his favorite place to work out all his problems.
At twilight he would water the yard and pick up the branches…..
….and talk to the tree.
They were long, lengthy conversations….told in confidence to an old friend.
I was never really sure what he whispered….or what was on his heart.
But I know that the tree heard every single word.
And then one day….suddenly….early in the morning on a summer day….
….the most wonderful, incredible tree whisperer passed away.
I’m not sure that the tree ever fully recovered.
After my father died…..no one really paid much attention to it.
No one watered it or trimmed it….or whispered to it any more.
Our hearts were too sad.
A year later a lightening bolt struck the tree and it came crashing down.
And I thought that was the end of a season.
The end of the chapter.
But you see…..I have this brother.
This amazing, wonderful, creative brother.
A tree-whisper in his own right.
He took that broken tree and painstakingly carved it into a thing of beauty.
This wooden bowl full of apples on my fall mantel…..was carved from the tree that my father had guarded so closely all those years.
I had almost forgotten all about it.
It was packed away in the attic with some pumpkins and acorns and brightly colored oak leaves.
And when I unwrapped the bowl….I smiled quietly to myself…..and my heart gave a little leap of joy…..
….because another season had begun.
PS My brother just added a few more things to his ETSY shop along with those amazing pallet letters.
Stop by and check it out….all proceeds go towards his adoption.