Thursday, May 28, 2009

My tree

I am unabashedly sentimental about my tree.

It is a fir tree and it started as one of more than 125 seedlings, perhaps eight inches in length, that we handed out as gifts to our wedding guests in September 2002.

We planted three of the trees, just days after our wedding, in the backyard lawn of the house that we had recently purchased; the house where we were sure that our dreams would take root and blossom just as surely as our seedlings.

But two of the trees died almost immediately.

And the seedlings that my parents planted at their house promptly died too. And over the next few years as I asked other wedding guests about their trees I learned, to my dismay, that it seemed all our gifts - our symbols of growth and promise - had similarly failed to grow and take root.



It shouldn't have bothered me, but it did.

I started to inquire in earnest and before long I determined that the remaining tree in our backyard is indeed the lone survivor of our marriage celebration, the only tangible evidence of how far we have come and how much we have grown.

And so, I am just a little bit protective of my tree.

I have watched it for almost seven years now. I have despaired about its ability to withstand the sleet and the snow and the rain.

But I have marveled at the way just a day of sunshine has the power to make it seem new and how swiftly nature's warmth and kindness can bring forth tiny, hopeful buds.


But now that my tree is clearly growing big and strong and independently, I worry about how I can possibly keep it close as we move into a new home and a new chapter of our lives.

There is no room for my tree at the new house, but there is no way I can just leave it behind.

Because it is my only one.

And I am unabashedly sentimental about my tree.

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26 comments:

Jaina said...

What a beautiful tree. I hope you find a good resolution. Perhaps it is meant to stay there and grow big and strong as a reflection of your marriage and life.

OHmommy said...

I have a tree we planted on the day we got married and moved it three times. In a nice planter. It has flourished and we keep getting a bigger planter for each every other year. We love it.

Can you plant it in a nice planter? Do you have a deck?

InTheFastLane said...

I really really understand your issue with the tree. We had a tree that was given to us as a wedding present. A pear tree. It was beautiful. The kids took pictures next to it each year on the first day of school. And then we moved and that is still the one thing that i wish we could have taken with us. But, maybe the memory of the tree is enough. A drive by photo once a year to remind you that the tree and your marriage is growing stronger still?

kgirl said...

lovely.

parentingBYdummies said...

Love your blog. Can't wait to spend the rest of nap time reading through your archives:)

Mr Lady said...

A) you are the most awesome person I know. Trees? Dag.

B) Do you have any idea the amazing mojo you'll leave the people who inherit that tree?

caramama said...

My husband and I received oak tree seedlings when we graduated college (it was from the college to all graduates). My husband's mom planted it in her yard, because the land they own will never leave the family. So even when my husband and I moved in together and even when we moved into our current house with it's large yard, we keep the tree in my MIL's yard.

Any chance you can plant it in land that you know will stay in the family? It wouldn't be right outside your door, but it would be visitable.

Angella said...

Oh, that would be so hard.

We've had this house since before we had kids and the thought of ever having to leave it behind makes me weepy...

MIT Mommy said...

I see a lot of symbolism here after reading your previous post. Maybe these two pieces were meant to be written next to each other because there might be a connection.

I don't know. I was just thinking about it. You have lots of beautiful things to contemplate.

I'm not sure if it is really my place to make connections - but they say that art (like writing) is not about what the author says, but rather what the author allows other people to hear.

Expat mum said...

You could absolutely move it and give it to someone you see a lot - then you'd be able to visit!

petite gourmand said...

I can't blame you for being so sentimental and superstitious about your tree.
I would be too.
Is there any way you can bring it to your new home?

What a lovely idea btw.

Fawn said...

Like MIT Mommy, I'm seeing a lot of symbolism here, though I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it's because the pictures all having both the tree and your son. :)

My husband and I also gave away trees at our wedding in 2002. They were supposed to be really hardy. We had about 15 or 20 left over, which we brought with us to Fort Liard, NWT. I don't think any of them survived. However, there are three doing very well... two in the garden at my parents' house in Germany, and the other one at my Oma's.

I'll get to see them again in July. Hooray!

FrankandMary said...

If my ex could move his daughter's grand piano from NJ to Florida, you can take that tree. Long live your tree. ~Mary

for a different kind of girl said...

In a way, I think it's awesome that the tree you and your husband planted is the lone one standing, and I wish there was a way you could dig it up and take it with you to plant in your new home and have it as the mark of a new chapter in your lives. We have a beautiful flowering plant in our yard that my great-grandmother smuggled over from Scotland when she was a young woman. Only people in my family have this plant in our yard (or so we like to believe based on how none of us have ever seen it anywhere else!), and when we moved here, we informed the buyers of our former house that we were digging up the yard and taking it!

I hope, though, that the tree can stand as a nice symbol for the new owners, and you can find a new symbol of your family in the new house.

Heather said...

That is a hard one. I would probably feel similarly, and want to take it with me, but at the same time I wouldn't want to uproot it when it's doing well where it is. Tough call.

Maybe have a professional family portrait taken with the tree and have that be your permanent reminder of it...

Brittany said...

I like the idea of putting it in a planter and moving it! I bet that would work!! :) It's not too big to move yet! :)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

You've preserved its memory here.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I hope you find a solution. It's a great tree--it sure looks like Graham loves it.

Elaine A. said...

Such a wonderful idea to plant a tree when your were married. I have a houseplant that was given to my husband when he broke his foot (before we were even engaged!) that I've managed to keep alive and I love that darn plant!

If it can't go with you can't you at least go back and visit it? Surely the new residents would understand...

kbreints said...

I love this idea!! I have the first valentines gift that Dan ever gave me in 2003 in my kitchen (it was a miniature rose plant) I have had to re-pot it several times .... dan has asked me to plantit outside... but I never could knowing that we may not be here forever...

Magpie said...

could you move it to your family's place at the lake? it looks like it's small enough that a strong body could dig it up.

Parent Club said...

you had me at unabashedly :-)

Madge said...

i kind of like that yours is the only one left. kind of like how so many relationships don't make it -- but you guys are still together...

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I totally get it. I planted a couple of trees and a bush at my dad's when I first lived there with my not-yet husband, and lately, the new resident cut the trees down and just recently removed the bush. Makes me very very sad.

Teena in Toronto said...

What a special tree!

mare ad mare said...

Not really bonsai-able at this point I suppose...?