When my sons were little, we planted a slim stick of a poplar tree beside our driveway. We must have planted it during the exact sign of the moon in Farmer’s Almanac, or something like that. The poplar grew very fast, from no more than a stick 18 inches tall to four feet and full of leaves the first year. The next year it doubled again.
The other night I had taken the garbage and recycling cans to the street and was walking down the drive back to the house. I glanced up and noticed the height of the tree after all the years that have passed. My sons are grown and left home years ago. The poplar is now like the main mast of an old sailing ship. It stands way above the roofline of our home, and its branches spread out wide and far. I felt small in a good way, humbled somehow.
I missed my sons and was grateful to have been with them. I was also glad for their ability to leave home and go forth, so to speak. Even so, I wished that I could plant that stick of a tree again.