Trees for Suffield invites you to send in a short story, a photo or drawing of a tree that has meaning to you and why. We want to know how trees have made a difference in your life and be able to share your love of trees with others.
This month we’re sharing a story sent in by Matthew Schmitt, one of the participants in the Creative Writing Series we offered last month through Suffield Parks & Rec. Even if you missed the series, you haven’t missed the opportunity to let trees be your muse.
Tell us why trees are special to you or how they have benefitted you or your community. We hope to share your stories in The Suffield Observer or online and by doing so, honor the trees that do so much for us.
To participate, email your story, poem or an image of a favorite tree with a short description of its significance to you to TreesforSuffield@gmail.com and include “I Love Trees” in the subject line or post them on social media and tag us @treesforsuffield.
Memory of Trees By Matt Schmitt
My earliest memory of a tree was in the fall of one of those mid-70s inflation years, when I was about four or five years old growing up in a cramped Polish and Italian neighborhood in the Northern New Jersey city of Clifton called Botany Village. I do not know what kind of tree it was, its genus or species, or what Latin heraldry our mighty scientists assigned it – these frivolities do not concern the youth. But I do remember where it stood, the first in a neat row of about five or six other trees which formed a line between the noisy road and the serene sidewalk where I was allowed to play. Each tree in the formation was similar to the next: three or four feet around at the base of the trunk; hemmed in by brick which abutted the sidewalk; and just taller than the second story windows of the apartment where we lived.
My specific celebratory tree presented itself directly outside our living room panes, through which its golden fronds waved at me ever more excitedly with the mounting northerly breezes of autumn. When the tiny leaves dropped over the course of the darkening weeks, they littered the neat squares of cemented sidewalk, an allowable chaos in an otherwise ordered and geometric world. Each day brought a new pattern of stunning recklessness. But rebellions are never long tolerated. And so, a cold tireless wind was daily hired to sweep up the displays. As to be expected of those involuntarily pressed into service, the gusts never did a very thorough job. Inevitably, a yellow fragment or two, escaping the blustery round-up, would snag a piece of bubbling root, which seemed ready to pick itself up out of the ground and just walk away. And maybe that is what this timbered creature secretly wished to do, to free itself of its expectations.
But what does a little boy know about the dreams of trees?