Born and raised in the small town of Itasca, my family moved to a larger home with a larger yard when I was five. Our yard abounded with many trees: apple, pear, elm, catalpa, and crabapple. But the biggest and most majestic tree in our yard was our maple. Gracing the front yard and next to our home, it was an immense and beautiful tree that we admired and loved.
In the Winter it revealed its dramatic silhouette and perfect shape. In Spring, the shade of green in its leaves refreshed our lives. In Summer, the vast shade it provided was a yard unto itself. No grass could grow under it because of the deep shade. This was not a climbing tree for its branches were too high. At Summer’s end though, is when a breathtaking transformation would begin, and Autumn would reveal its glory. The leaves began to turn the most beautiful shades of yellows, oranges,and golds. As the leaves fell to the ground, it created the most gorgeous colorful carpet. And this is when my hero-my Dad-and my sister and brothers would each grab a rake and gather up mountains of leaves to play in, providing us with memories and bonding our hearts together.
Disease eventually took our great friend, but our memories last and our hearts are grateful to have had, in our yard, the biggest tree in town.