In 1989, my parents and I planted a Japanese Maple tree in the front of our house after we built it from the ground up. I watched the tree grow year after year, mimicking my own physical and emotional growth overtime. To this day it stands as a major signifier of time gone by - more than any other plant or part of my childhood home. It has symbolized the love and growth that have been an enormous part of my growing up. It tells the story of moving to a new place, the excitement of watching a sapling grow, the memories of hurricane winds and digging a trench by the tree in my underwear with my mom, and the perfect perch for the cat when scared by the dog. Isn’t it just amazing how a tree can hold all of those beautiful memories?
Each time I see a Japanese Maple, I am reminded of all of these. I am struck by it’s dazzling leaves, dappled light under ground, and tremendously aesthetically pleasing structure. I am reminded of the ways my family has loved me and carried me through this world. And I am reminded how awesome Mother Nature is.