I have a Maple Tree in my front yard.
I brought it with me from Ontario as a tiny sapling.
I removed it gingerly from its mother tree the morning I left to return to BC.
I wrapped it in a wet paper towel and a plastic baggy.
I placed it carefully into my purse where it journeyed across Canada with me.
I loved it so and made a promise to my parents to take good care of it.
I planted it temporarily in a small terracotta pot.
I replanted it and replanted it into ever-bigger pots that sat on my sunny patio.
I watched as it grew and grew until it was the same height as me.
I bought a little white house after my parents died just around the corner from the rental.
I lovingly removed the Maple Tree from its final pot made from a wooden barrel.
I planted it permanently in the front yard deeply anchored in the solid earth.
I called it Marion after my mother.
She is well over twenty feet tall now.
She is far bigger than my mother could have ever imagined.
She is a faithful reminder of my mother and the life we shared.
She provides a welcome canopy of shade.
She keeps my front room cool and comfortable in the summertime.
She is beautifully naked and oh so graceful in the winter.
She quietly stands guard and watches over this little white house.
She is eternally helpful and obliging that way.
She also makes me feel safe in the shelter of her branches.
She changes color with the seasons but not the way her mother tree did back in Ontario.
She wonders about some of those autumn colors of her lineage.
She ponders the reason they are missing from her leaves.
She thinks her mother tree looked divine in a particular shade of red.
She mourns the loss of the things she did not inherit.