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ODE TO CHARLIE.....
MY JAPANESE MAPLE TREE
CHARLIE.....by b. Malin
I've always wanted a Japanese Maple Tree, like the one that grew in our back yard when I was a child, living on Long Island. Oh what a splendid tree that was!
I remember climbing between the branches of the trunk, and leaning back and looking up at the sky knowing that it supported me so lovingly....I felt so safe and secure....to daydream. At that stage in my life, I was going to be a "Famous Actress". My friend Sandy would join me, and we would each play a Famous Movie Star, until we were yelled at, to come off of that tree before we ruined it...I was left with many sweet memories of that tree....I was ten years old.
We purchased "Charlie" as I lovingly named our Japanese Maple tree, in the fall, the year after we moved into our new home. I was thirty now.
Charlie was the only tree of his kind at the plant nursery, which to me seemed like an omen...that he was meant for me...that he was going to be mine!
After we got Charlie home, it took us half the afternoon to decide where to plant him...where he'd show best, for he was all of two and half feet tall. We finally decided upon the middle of the front lawn. It would only be a matter of time until Charlie would grow and grace our lawn with his exotic beauty and charm.
I watered and sprayed and fussed over him those first few years...and each fall, noted his growth. I'd watch sadly when he lost his magnificent red leaves before the first frost....Knowing that winter was just around the corner. That many long months would have to pass before Charlie could dazzle us again.
The year Charlie turned five, he simply came alive, into his own. He was now my height...just five feet, and his leaves were breath taking, red with an amber glow. Even my two sons started to take notice. The sixteen year old, with the Paul Newman eyes and the Robert Redford smile stood with me one day admiring Charlie....Saying how he couldn't wait for Charlie to get a little bigger and stronger. For he wanted to climb his trunk and lean back and look at the sky...Also he'd keep an eye on his brother...make sure he didn't fall.
I almost started to protest...till I remembered....and I saw the same look in my sons eyes that I'd had so long ago...and deep down, I too still had that same desire to climb Charlie's trunk, lean back on a branch, look up at the sky...and just dream, if only for a while, once more.
One good Daydream is sometimes all it takes..... by b. Malin