For Mother’s Day my family gave me a plaque showing the Nickerson Family Tree, est. 1960. The “apples” are heart-shaped and bear the names of my children, their spouses, and the grandchildren. It is humbling to be the matriarch of a whole tree full of people.
This brings to mind the one remaining maple tree in front of the house. Fifteen years ago I submitted my first “Musing” to the paper. The subject was that tree. Back then a pair of trees stood sentinel as folks came and went at the farmhouse. In summer they provided shade, and in fall their red, gold and yellow leaves created a colorful carpet.
Each year I wonder if the one remaining old maple will make it through another Adirondack winter. Its trunk is slightly bent, gnarled and mottled, and there’s a huge, gaping hole that the woodpecker has discovered. The branch that once held a child’s rope swing broke off. But then, the occupants of that swing have grown and moved on.
This spring the old maple did not disappoint. She is sporting a canopy of new green leaves. It is not quite as full and luxurious as in the past, and the fall colors will be muted, but that old tree has become, for me, a role model of steadfastness and endurance and a symbol of hope for the future.