Planting A Red Maple Tree
Writing is like getting ready to go on a date.
Some dates get the full treatment: long relaxing soak in the bathtub, legs shaved, eyebrows plucked, washed and combed hair, teeth brushed and flossed, mouthwash, tinted lip gloss, ironed shirt, perfume. Writing like the full treatment date is where you have the luxury of hours to prepare and think. Time to write and re-write, write and re-write, and then to do it again. There is no time deadline. You could take longer to complete your story than it does to conceive and carry a child to term.
And other dates have no preparation beyond a quick glance in the mirror to check for food in your teeth. No foundation, eye-liner, mascara, or rouge. Make-up is like lace on a dress. Or too many adjectives in a sentence, or too many “that’s” in a paragraph. “She realized that he was really a frog.” – or- ” She realized he was a frog.” You don’t need the “that”.
Today my writing has a deadline. I don’t have time to make and deliver a baby in the next three hours. I started to write three different slices this morning as I sat confused at the computer this morning at 5:30. Tonight I have to put paper and a pen beside my bed, so that tomorrow morning if I get any ideas I can just grab the pencil and write them down in the dark, and not have to go downstairs and start typing before the house warms up. I couldn’t decide which one to finish. Then it was time to go the doctor’s office to hear the results of the biopsy.
At 11:05 this morning the doctor said to me in his office, ” All clear. The cancer did not spread.” I told him I was very glad to have met him and that I hoped to never see him again.” The sun seemed brighter, the grass greener when I walked outside. I looked up at the sky, and I didn’t see any clouds.
On the way home I stopped at a nursery and picked out a Red Maple tree to plant in the backyard. It will grow 50 feet tall and 40 feet wide.
I have planted trees before. In the backyard of a house on Homestead Avenue in Swansea Illinois is a Maple tree that was planted when I had a miscarriage. In the front yard is another tree planted when my daughter’s budgie died. We had a ceremony and put the little paper casket in the bottom of the hole we dug for the tree. We planted a tree in California to celebrate our twentieth anniversary and another tree for mother’s day.
This weekend, I will dig a hole for the Red Maple.
A tree to climb.
A tree for shade.
A tree to put down roots in Pennsylvania.
Have you planted any trees? What do you do to commemorate an event in your life?
About Pamela Hodges
My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.