Our family gathered in a circle in the yard, holding memories and a memorial service for her. Such a good old gal. So faithful. So beautiful, even in old age. Oh, we loved her. But with disease coursing through her, there was nothing we could do but get out the chain saw and cut her off at the base of the trunk.
The maple tree.
She’d reigned over our yard for so many years, we had to link arms to hug her girth. Every fall, she dressed in the most beautiful colors to show off for the neighbors, the sassy thing. The kids played in her shade, collected her leaves for science class and craft projects, pressed their backs against her when thinking, and raked her crisp castoffs in late autumn.
We hated to see her go. My daughter felt the impact deep in her soul when we stood inside watching the maple’s towering height crash to the ground the day it came down.
The next Christmas, my husband handed each of us a unique gift–a jewelry box made from the maple tree wood. And a round donut of a keychain of maple wood for our just-got-her-keys sixteen-year-old daughter. Amy is well in her thirties now.
And my wonderhubby did one more thing that year the maple came down. He dug up a seedling at its roots and planted it in another part of the yard, not at all confident it would make it. Good years and bad, heavy frosts and not enough snow, too much rain, too little rain, and waiting, waiting, waiting.
We mowed around it. Its growth could hardly be measured year to year. One leaf does not make good shade.
Waiting takes forever.
But it always produces something…either in our circumstances or in our souls.
I snapped this photo earlier in the week. Lush, cool shade. This autumn, it promises to outdo its parent tree in fall colors. It took forever. But it was growing all along.
And isn’t that just like life?