Anyone else have a favourite tree from childhood? The tree in the photo is one of several Broadleaf Maples that I grew up with. Its branches have held a Tarzan swing (placed there by my dad) for over 40 years, entertaining neighbourhood kids for two generations.
The branches of one Maple reached right to my top floor bedroom window, its broad green leaves playing with sunlight in summer, rustling orange-yellow in fall –always nourishing my spirit.
Another Maple tree supported a sturdy playhouse built by my dad, with the trunk of the tree growing up through the middle of the house and offering the perfect climbing route to the playhouse roof and from there further up to where my brother later built a smaller, more precarious-looking tree house. The small tree house was like a crow’s nest at the top of a ship mast, offering views of all the neighbouring yards and the prefect retreat for hiding away with a novel or a notebook in which to scribble story ideas and secrets.
The Broadleaf Maples were like good friends throughout my childhood, and I missed them when I moved away –especially when I moved back east where Broadleaf Maples don’t grow. When I returned to the westcoast, the familiar large rounded canopies, huge leaves and companionable wind-stirred rustle called out to me like old friends, welcoming me home. They still call.
(The same tree in the 1970s –you can glimpse the treehouse my brother built in the tree behind at the bottom of the photo)
(A fall leaf from a Broadleaf Maple tree near my new house –gives you an idea of how aptly the tree is named)