One Lone Tree

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Hello, Goldilocks!.”

The local gardening center is just down the street, maybe a 15 minute drive along simple country roads.  That day’s task was to pick up some flowering tree to plant in the yard.  I’d look through the internet for various types that would thrive in my soil, the level of light it would need, all of those factors.  This was to be a special tree, so I needed to be sure it was the right choice.

It was the beginning of October and the lady walking around the department had told me it wouldn’t be an issue planting this time of year.  As long as I kept it watered for the next month, it would go dormant anyway.  So the only criteria I had to meet was matching the color it would eventually flower with the picture in my head.

We had talked about planting a tree in the yard as a memorial spot for our daughter.  Something that could grow in the yard, much in the way she would have in that same grassy knoll.  Look out the window and hopefully see growth every now and then.  It was a good idea.

So I was alone on this day, looking through the dogwoods as the companion whispering in me ear talked about the color and height each variety would show.

“I’m looking for something that flowers in a purple!”  The words quiet, the panic starting to build up.  The walls were closing around my even though we were in the fresh air.  Maybe I should have just ordered something for delivery on the internet!

Well, this bush over here would flower just the color you want.  It will even keep those flowers throughout the year, replacing them with new ones as the old dry out.  If the winter is mild, you might even be able to keep going through the end of December.

This was in the right idea, but I had my heart set on some tree type plant.  My desire to sit under it a driving factor in my wanting something substantial.  Time to move along to the next idea.

We settled under a 6 foot tall Dogwood tree.  The colors close, but not what I had pictured.  I walked over to the paint department and picked up a color wheel so that the now slightly annoyed woman would see for herself what I was looking for.

Sitting in the corner was something out of a Charlie Brown Christmas Special.  The branches sagging, it’s growth stunted by the lack of care over the summer.  But the promise that it was exactly what I was looking for came across her lips.  I looked up for a minute and smiled.  A project plant, nothing about this was going to be easy was it.  Even trying to deal with doing something special came with its own roadblocks.

We put the tree in the backseat of my car.  Leaned over a bit because, well, it’s a car!  I eventually put the only branch of height out the sunroof and off I go.

I had picked a spot in the front yard.  It wasn’t going to be something I could easy just look out the window and see, but it was a locale where that tree could look out onto the other people in my neighborhood.  I dug the hole, put in some fertilizer and added just enough water.

Over the winter I watched it sway a bit, the weather much colder then we had expected.  I joked that maybe a blanket would help!

Last week I went out and took my first opportunity to really make sure it made it through.  It didn’t.  Another of life’s lessons in how you care for something and for reasons outside of your control, things die.

Guess this isn’t a fairy tale one tells a child!


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