“There is no stranger under the cherry tree.”- Issa
There is a tree I love. The circumference of the trunk thick and wide, so broad, that I cannot circle my arms around it anymore. Knotty, the bark rough to my cheek’s soft touch. The trunk, darkened, blackened, and browned with touches of gray. Gnarled. Leaves that are a dark green, jade, larger near the top to kiss the sun, forming a canopy to shield me. When spring returns, the tree I love awakens to life, its pink blossoms changing from crimson to a blush shade as the petals unfurl. The tree I love. Home to squirrels, chipmunks, ladybugs. Butterflies pause to rest their fragile wings for a brief moment. Bees drone and circle the blossoms, briefly alighting to dust their legs with pollen. The tree I love, a home and nurturer of life. The robin builds her nest in the uppermost branches, a safe haven for the turquoise eggs, the broken pieces of shell float to the ground when the young birds take flight. Collected by the child who gently wraps the remnants into a Kleenex. The tree I love.
It is impossible for me to walk past the Cherry Tree. Its presence alluring, pure beauty as it commands the ground. The tree I love has roots that spread and twist as they deeply anchor and nourish. Steadfast. I pause to stand under the majestic canopy and close my eyes. For a brief moment, I can summon back the memory of a little girl and her younger sister. A memory of love.
The winds begin to blow, gently teasing the tree. Dancing together the wind embraces the pinks, twirling and whirling them about before slowly releasing them to the ground. Carpeting the earth, a pink quilt, covering the ground. Fragile beauty. A memory of love, fleeting.