But, Sundry, you say, there are so many trees in the world! How can you choose just one?
If you knew this cottonless cottonwood in the back yard of the house where I grew up, you wouldn’t have to ask.
Mom planted it when I was about ten, I think. It was run over and cut off by the lawn mower at least once. It’s so big and strong, and the leaves make a sound like the ocean when a breeze blows through them, which it almost always does out here in Bug Island.
Besides being beautiful on its own, I feel as though it holds the spirits of the much-loved trees that are gone now. The two big willows, one of which bore my tree house (yes, I was a lucky lucky kid), and both of which were excellent for climbing. The Bartlett pear tree, for the obvious fruity reasons. The nameless tree in the corner that I knew so well that I could close my eyes at the back steps, walk across the yard and climb blind until I was 15 feet off the ground, getting me closer to the moon. The big tree across the road that I stood under to wait for the bus, that shaded our collie/St. Bernard Prince, that held me while I plowed through The Count of Monte Cristo.
All of them rolled into one majestic beast.