Each time I travel to and from my home, I drive by the farm site where I grew up. This can be a source of comfort but at times, also a source of distress. Not because of the people who live there, because they are wonderful friends, but because of the memories that come on so quickly as I see changes and get flashbacks from my youth.
Last week, after a nasty wind storm went through, I traveled that road and encountered a large tree from my childhood farm site that had fallen across the road. I felt a twinge of pain as I looked at that tree because this was one of several trees that I played in and around quite often.
The tree was really old and rotten, but in my youth, was a strong and healthy part of the farm yard. As children, my siblings and I could climb up its trunk, build forts around the base, tie swings to the branches, or just play among the roots. It was one of several trees that was perfect for playtime or just idling away some time in a secluded secret spot.
This tree was just one of several of my favorite old trees on the farm that have bit the dust or been reduced to ash. The old groves were some of our favorite play areas but now, when I walk through them, I barely recognize some of the places where we played beneath and within. However, the memories of building forts, climbing to great heights, and conquering enemies around these trees, will never be lost.
It is comforting to note that the current residents of the farm site are committed to planting new trees as the old ones decay and die. New life to replace old and potential fun and comfort for future generations.