Life can be hectic. It is nice to slow down once in a while and appreciate something as simple as a lone tree.
My children understand this. Since we moved to Harbor Springs, there have been no cries to go to the playground so they can swing and slide. Weekends and summers are spent playing at ‘the dirt hill’ – a hilly, empty parcel three lots down – or at ‘the tree’. The neighborhood children have climbed high in the branches, spun on the kid-assembled tire swing, built ladders and platforms, and measured the trunk’s girth with their arms. When other kids visit, they are drawn to the tree, even if they are visiting childless homes. Sitting on my porch, sipping whiskey or iced tea, I have seen couples getting their engagement pictures taken beneath the tree’s branches. I have seen deer and wild turkey resting in its shade. Although at the end of our street, the tree is the heart of the neighborhood, just as it must have been the heart of the berry farm that once resided here.