I've always loved trees. I think it's because I grew up surrounded by walnuts, and cottonwoods and oak and maple trees. When I was young, I loved when the cotton woods would "shed" in the late spring and it looked like it was snowing. I'd spend hours roaming around the yard (that we called "the park") with my wagon and my dog, picking up the hundreds of walnuts so my dad wouldn't mow over them. I pretended they were treasure and I'd hide them in secret places.
When my life starts to feel crazy, I've found trees to be a constant source of calm. It sounds weird when I say it like that, but I can just feel the weight lift off my shoulders and the pressure in my chest lighten. Maybe it's a feeling I've brought with me from my childhood, when I found solace outside.
When I didn't want to be inside doing chores on weekends, I escaped to the park where it would take my mom longer to find me or I could pretend to be out of ear's reach. When my parents were arguing, I'd sit under a walnut tree, as far from the house as I could be and listen to the sounds of the farm. I had no siblings to keep me entertained, but an imagination and a huge acreage to roam.
I want the boys to learn to appreciate things like this. I know it's "just a tree" but it's a small thing. Sometimes in life, when things are spiraling out of control, appreciation for the small things, for nature, can be such a source of relief.