The Old Cherry Tree
When I was eight years old we moved into the house that my father’s grandparents had built in 1882. Many of the plants and trees they’d put in over the years were still thriving. There was an abundance of hollyhocks, peonies, lily of the valley, tea roses, mock orange shrubs, and crab apple trees. And, best of all, an old gnarly cherry tree. About three feet off the ground, the trunk split off in two separate directions. The part that branched to the right split off again about three more feet up. It was an easy tree to climb and was really comfortable to sit in as the branches felt like arms that held me safe. I could lean back on one branch, rest my feet on another, place a sandwich or snack nearby, and be prepared to spend the next few hours hidden away among the leaves, reading my favorite Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew, or Page Twins selection. If the cherries were out in abundance I could just reach up and grab a few when I was hungry, being careful not to disturb the robins who also liked the cherries. I miss that old tree, the solitude and comfort it provided, that special place to go to be alone. Yet Mom could just look out the kitchen window and know exactly where I was and what I was up to.