The old cottonwood tree on the Aldrich farm corner has been there for as long as I can remember. It was there when I was a small boy visiting Grandpa Aldrich’s farm. It is still there 55 years later as I visit Mom and Dad who are still living on the farm. A lot has changed. Time has passed. It is a different decade, a different century, a different millennium.
The old tree is like an anchor in time. I can come home and look at it and be taken back in time. I know that tree. And he knows me.
That isn’t true of all of the trees on the farm.
This pine by the house is tree who is younger than me. I can remember when it was planted. It was not so very many years ago.
This gnarled old tree in the grove may be about the same age as I am. I remember it when both it and I were small and we played together in the grove. I was Tarzan, Jungle Jim, and the Lone Ranger. It was the post I leaned on in my secret lookout post. Back then my hand went most of the way around the trunk.
It is good to come home to a place where you know the trees personally. You can revisit old haunts, see old friends and acquaintances, and walk along gravel roads in a place where there is little traffic and no smog.
So I came back to Iowa to visit a tree. Well, the farm place and aging parents too.