Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Tree

We're looking to add to our landscaping with some of the area's signature flora. Our builder gave us a good start with an abundance of Gardenias. I thought they were just cute little green bushes until Zachary came running into the house one day with the fragrant blossoms in his hands squealing with joy, "Mary is going to LOVE these!" I hope our kitchen madonna (who is now in the livingroom) did LOVE them because the boys covered her in them for weeks and weeks thereafter.

We also have a Crepe Myrtle, a tree that I had seen around town and just loved for its colorful bloom. I even decided that we should get one before ours bloomed, making me realize that we... well...had one. You can see I am a brilliant botanist.

There is also a large rose bush I've been enjoying by the front porch. I think it's on its third bloom since we moved here in April. All of these are lovely, but they are having a hard time competing with my memory of our blossoming cherry in Connecticut, the climbing roses along our old sunroom wall, and the Tulip-lined picket fence. I find myself missing the cool carpet that is Connecticut grass and the rich dark soil we had, though not enough sun. Here there is sun enough, but the soil is clay that gets baked in its kiln and the grass is a sparse, needle-like home to biting fire ants.

We've moved often enough now to know that every place has its blessings and its curses and no two are the same. The trick is to wrap your memories around the place you are so that the place you were loses the sting of its hold. That is the thinking behind our plans to plant a tree, a Magnolia or a pear or some lovely blossoming, fruit bearing, joy giving thing in honor of the new baby. We will plant ourselves here.

I loved the idea as soon as my husband proposed it. "We should plant a tree for the new baby," he said and I agreed, but Zachary couldn't understand it. "I don't think the baby wants a tree," he argued, "Babies don't like trees. I know, why don't we get him a blanket, new bibs, or some toys?"