Recently I had the good fortune to sit in the shade of maple trees planted when I was young. My parents had planted the skinny stick-trees so my grandpa would have a place to sit in the shade on summer afternoons.
“Why are you bothering? I’ll be dead long before those trees provide any shade. You’re wasting your money on those trees,” Grandpa scolded at the time, his depression-era sensibilities and general Elder feistiness punctuating his comments on that spring day my parents announced plans for the two new maple trees.
Fortunately, stubbornness doesn’t skip generations in my family. My parents stuck with their shade tree plan. Sure enough, those trees thrived under the love, care and attention they received. Those trees, eager to fulfill their duty, grew branches and leaves and before we knew it, Grandpa was enjoying that cool shade during our hot Yakama summers. His good friend, Ham, could still drive short distances then, and we’d regularly see the two Elderly men sitting in lawn chairs in the shade, colorful suspenders holding up their pants, their arms covered with long sleeves, a habit from their many decades of welding. Grandpa and Ham would have their afternoon beverage and tell stories even bigger than those maple tree branches.
All of the people most precious to me in the world have sat under those shade trees at one time or another. Commitment, love, care: these are all central to the vision of shade trees my parents held. The benefits are intergenerational, lasting.
What vision will you honor and share with the world?
Join The Auntie Way Writing Retreat to gift yourself with time and space to nurture and affirm your vision. Register on my website. Fall sessions start Friday, September, 4.