Silverstein’s Vision

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In the spring, the lone tree in our backyard (a bulky fir) begins a new life marked by a pastoral radiance and maniples of leaves of an indiscernible amount. The long awaited sun light and climate comforts this elder, and the young flowers that grow at its base. The wide trunk and its bark, worn like the decorated armor of a great champion, reveal the longevity of the tree. Its arms are extensive and protrude into our neighbor’s backyard. The family’s dog, a precocious pup named Cliff, barks at this intruder, as if the fir were likely to retreat. Leaves that bend and sway playfully in the wind, like dancing children, cover the tree’s magnificent arms.
The frolic and youthful gaiety of the spring grow into the adolescence of the summer months. The flowers that surround the fir grow constantly until their peak in late July, as their successors, the pumpkins, greedily wait for their decline. The leaves sway more elegantly now, and are a helpful shelter from the baking sunlight. The thick patches of leaves buttress the tree’s arms, making the great fir less susceptible to the occasional sigh from the wind.
As July turns to August, the tree begins to mature into adulthood. A sporadic jettisoning of its leaves marks transformation. My grandfather detests this fact, as evidenced by his scowling when he makes his hourly sweep of the pool. As the autumnal equinox approaches, the tree undergoes a new transformation. The fir seemingly ages into a palette of browns, oranges, and yellows; a remarkable conversion that scatters leaves over the plump and overweight pumpkins, who last a mere three weeks in this new season before being extracted by my mother and turned into a hideous ornamentation called a Jack-O-Lantern. The tree begins to evince the inevitable signs of middle age. The birds and small animals that once flocked to the tree have disappeared for the winter, and the tree’s branches become more visible as the leaves continue to fall.
A fickle plant, the tree lasts through the sights of Halloween and the smells of the Thanksgiving feast before retiring indefinitely into the slumber of the long winter. This hibernation is a reclusive period for the tree; it stands alone in our backyard, the only veteran of my mother’s garden. The tree is barely seen by anyone; no one dares venture out against the wind and snow to greet the great fir. Its shriveled physiology leans against the howling wind and temper of a winter storm. The infamous blizzards of this season descend upon the tree and terrorize the trembling branches. Meanwhile, a blanket of white snow covers the patient veteran’s slender branches as it slumbers and dreams until the first dew of next spring and an anticipated resurrection.

Non fiction/enviornment





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