I grew up with an appreciation for trees - their benefits (shade), their power (strong enough to crush a car), their endurance (long life-span), their beauty (their seasonal changes).
Trees have been a part of my life, in a very round-about sort of way, a valuable bit of scenery, a prop for my life story. Here, I share with you fond memories of the top six trees in my thirty-six years on this planet.
- Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. I can still remember my elementary school teacher playing a film strip version of this book. As a child, I liked the book - it was a simple, sweet story. As a mother, I re-read this tale and understand it’s message of unconditional love, of wanting nothing more than to see those you love taken care of, provided for, and happy.
- Our tree. My husband and I never learned the species, we just knew it was “our tree.” It was the tree we sat beneath as we each awaited our morning science classes. We talked as orange petals cascaded around us. We metamorphosed from high school classmates to fellow college students, falling in “like” and falling in love.
- Christmas trees. Upon moving out, I carried many of my mom’s traditions with me - special birthday meals, weekly trips to the market, notes in my son’s lunchbox. However, there was one thing I vowed to do distinctly different than my mom. Each year, my husband and I purchase a live Christmas tree. I grew up with an artificial tree, one that was re-used year after year. As an adult, a Noble Fir graces our living room and scents our home.
- Our current home has a large bottlebrush tree that extends upwards, reaching to the top of our son’s bedroom window. When we first moved in, the moniker “bottle brush tree” was cute, but also something that was far off in the future. The future has already come and gone. We have already completed the stage with bottle brushes, for my son is now approaching his fifth birthday.
- Pom-pom trees. To most people they are palm trees, but my son has nicknamed them “pom pom trees.” They are the quintessential symbol of sunny southern California - the only home I have ever known. For my son, they are the trees that Mario climbs up in Super Mario Sunshine.
- Pink tree. That is the tree that my son and I look for as we drive to and from Grandma’s house. It is a large tree, covering the front lawn of a one-story home, reaching up as high as the home’s chimney. It is the tree that helps me teach the seasons to my son since Los Angeles isn’t known for providing seasonal weather. In winter, the tree is “naked;” in spring, the tree is bursting with green and we eagerly await our first glimpses of pink. In summer, the tree bursts with pink flowers, and in fall, many of the blooms and leaves have fallen and look like confetti on the lawn.