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The Red Maple Tree

Outside the house I grew up in, there was a little red maple tree.  I watched it grow from something tiny to a big beautiful tree and when I think about it, I can't help, but think about how much that tree witnessed in my life and the lives of my siblings.  It watched us take our first steps, form our first friendships, have our first kisses, leave for dances, come home with our hearts broken and watch us leave to start our lives outside that house.
It watched us as children as we rolled down the hill in the yard, learned to ride our bikes, climb trees, twirl and dance, sing and cry.  It watched girls tell secrets, boys that teased and lessons learned.  It witnessed laughter and tears, cartwheels and falls, friendships come and go and my father as he left.  It witnessed loss, love, anger, joy and despair.
It watched on those nights as boys came to my bedroom window, stood in wait when I left with them and kept me company when I wished they'd come, but never did.  It witnessed every ring of my doorbell, every letter arrive, flowers delivered and every door that was closed. 
That tree was there overlooking my life in beauty and I had no idea how much that little tree meant to me until I went back to see that house on a recent trip home and saw that the current owners ripped it out.  I didn't mind the extension that made the house almost unrecognisable or the new color paint or the fence that was built, but the tree was gone and there was no sign of those scenes it witnessed.  My childhood home was nowhere to be seen and a piece of my past was taken away.  I won't go back to see that house because without the tree, it's just a house with an extension, a fence I don't recognise and a yard that just looks bare.

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