Sophie’s Tree


This is Sophie’s tree. We love it because, from the front porch, it blocks the view of the gas station across the street. And it’s a late bloomer, providing lovely little white flowers in June.


Sophie loves it because the branches are perfect for climbing. I had a tree like that when I was girl, in my front yard. It is one of my strongest memories from childhood—sitting on the same branch, almost every day, shaking the branches above me as if they were puppets. I had names for them. I made up stories about them. I spent many hours up in that tree. It must be in my blood. And Sophie’s blood. For my mom recently said she spent hours in a tree too, as a child, reading books.

I sometimes miss those parts of childhood, the parts in which it is perfectly normal and acceptable to sit in a tree for no other reason than to sit in a tree. One summer evening, at our old house, before children, I decided on a whim to climb one of the evergreens in our backyard. Climbing up was easy. Climbing down, not so much. I was stuck—high up stuck. I sat in that tree for a long time thinking surely Andy would come out looking for me. But I guess it never occurred to him that his 20something wife might decide on a whim to climb an evergreen tree in our backyard and get herself stuck. So I had to yell. Thankfully Andy heard me yelling and not a neighbor. He helped me down. Yes, the love of trees runs deep in this family.


On this particular day it was so windy, up in Sophie’s tree.


I love the look of wonderment. I miss that.

“To the great tree-loving fraternity we belong. We love trees with universal and unfeigned love, and all things that do grow under them or around them—the whole leaf and root tribe.” —Henry Ward Beecher