my parents house is two stories and it has a back porch that is one less than the rest of the structure. about two feet away from the back porch was (giveaway) a tree. the cool thing to do as a boy was to crawl out of my second story bedroom window onto the roof of the back porch. early on that two feet span was insurmountable. as nature progressed my eyes saw the span close little by little. at a certain age my balls were big enough to finally make the jump. this was a defining moment in my manhood. in order to get up that tree i had to get a small running start, jump forward, push upward on the tree with my foot and catch a limb much higher than my standing grasp. as a boy, in front of a tree, i became a man. i discovered risk.
two days ago i was sitting with my mother at her house.... the house in which i spent the first 24 years of my life. my home. the wind started blowing. the power went out. we gathered by the windows to watch the storm do what a raging storm does best. destroy. one after another the trees in the forest behind the house fell like patients in a LifeCall commercial. As earlier given away by the past tense of a certain tree, you should be able to guess what i watched happen next. in slow motion, THE tree that nested so many important memories of my childhood divorced its self from its root system. in the middle of little old mechanicsville the winds were so strong that they ripped a tree of over 100 feet tall and just under 4 feet in diameter from the ground that it called home for decade after decade. lucky for me, my memories are much stronger than gale force winds.
as my life continues and time marches on i wont ever forget that tree. it doesnt need to stand in the way of the sun to be remembered, it doesnt need to do anything. i will forever hold dear that first jump and how it changed my life. and now, the empty space will remind me of that day. the day that my tree gave into the power of the sky but reminded me that memories are more powerful than objects.
there are some pictures. THE tree is the one next to the back porch, duh.