I sit on my porch.
I sit on my back porch, looking into the leaf-laden branches of a beech tree that I planted with my own hands, almost fifteen years ago. A crooked little sapling. Knee-high. Shortly after we moved into this house.
It’s forty feet tall now. It won’t be long at all before it’s as stout as this beech:
The boy in that picture, still climbing, now looks like this:
On this summer morning, in the nineteenth year of his life, there’s not even the whisper of a breeze. The birds are talking to one another, somewhere nearby cars and trucks rev and rumble, and my wife opens and closes the refrigerator.
The leaves on our beech look like this:
They’re motionless. There’s not even the whisper of a breeze.
The light comes up. Every minute, more revving and rumbling. You know, life going on.
There was a time when I would wake in darkness to the realization that someone was breathing into my face. A little person, standing at the edge of our bed. Waiting. Hoping that his light-sleeping father would wake, reach out, lift him in the air, and lay him in the gap between his parents.
Strange to imagine a day in the future when a different family is living in this house. A guest says, “That’s quite a tree you have outside your bedroom window.” And they say, “Yes, we love that tree.”