A maple

(127:  The sun shines on gifts.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

When M and I lived in southern Ohio, in that place where West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky meet, we bought our first house.  One of the things I fell in love with was the Japanese maple planted in front of (and centered quite nicely before) the picture window that looked out on the street.  It was a gorgeous tree that must have taken many years to shape and grow.  I have pictures of it but none do it justice.  Sometimes you had to be smack dab in the middle of it to see its beauty.  Sometimes you had to be standing across the street.

The branches were smooth and flowing so that when the wind flowed through and set it to dancing the first word that came to mind was graceful.  I loved the grayish-pink of the branches and the way that gray allowed the colors of the leaves to show off while still maintaining, and sometimes highlighting, a beauty of its own.  The leaves, so delicate in appearance, would start out a glowing shade of red in the spring, turn a lovely soft green in the summer, and a brilliant scarlet in the fall.

We sold the house when we moved up here to the Bogs.  And with the house went the tree.  To my dismay, the people who bought the house cut down the Japanese maple, probably with little to no idea how much a tree like that would cost to replace (and certainly disregarding the beauty of the tree and the time it takes to grow a tree like that).  If we’d known they were going to cut it down, we might have attempted to move it.

I don’t know why the subject came up but for some reason Mom and I discussed the tree when I was visiting with her last November.  Like me, she admired the beauty of the tree and she couldn’t believe someone would cut it down.

When our granddaughters were born, we planted trees in their honor.  After the funeral I got to thinking I’d like to plant a tree in Mom’s honor.  I wasn’t sure what kind of tree or where I’d put it.

On Wednesday a box arrived in the mail.  It was clearly some sort of plant material (as it stated boldly on the box “plant material”).  I hadn’t ordered anything recently so, puzzled, I opened the box to find a red-leaf Japanese maple tree (pictured above).  A dear friend sent it to me with a note about how she wasn’t sure if this was appropriate but she thought I might like to plant a tree in my mother’s honor.

It was the perfect gift.  And I know where we will plant it.

Thanks, Deb.  🙂


4 Comments on “A maple”

  1. willowbatel says:

    Japanese maple’s are so beautiful. My dad has one in his back yard that is probably a good 5 feet tall. It hardly gets as majestic as you described but it still has its own beauty about it.

  2. jenna says:

    Great minds think alike. When I told my mother that you’d recently lost your mother, she suggested I send you a beautiful plant to grow in honor of your mom. I’ve been beaten to it, and I’m happy, as it seems like you got just the right plant.

  3. bookbabie says:

    How cool, the universe you knew just what you needed! Japanese maples are lovely trees, we have one in our backyard. Can’t imagine why someone would cut one down?

  4. Anna Surface says:

    Oh, how sad the Japanese maple was cut down at your first house. I love Japanese maples and planted one this past spring. Gorgeous trees! The Universe certainly conspired for you, and what a lovely and thoughtful gift, and will be a beautiful honor for your Mom.


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