When I was young, from about several months old to about age 12, my family lived in a neighborhood called Airport Acres. Our brick ranch house was on two acres of land, and the expansive front yard was often the location of neighborhood football games, which usually consisted of my brother's older (and much bigger) friends and my two friends, Barbara and Glenn. Barbara, Glenn and I are tiny in comparison to my brother's friends, but we held our own, even if it meant that on ocassion we were used as the football itself. Our front yard was my 'school of hard knocks'.
There weren't many trees on the two acres. In the front there were several dogwoods, including one gorgeous pink dogwood that was always my mother's favorite. In second or third grade I remember getting a pine tree, I think it was an Eastern White Pine, on Arbor Day. Each kid was given a tree, and instructed on how to plant and care for it. I remember coming home and caring for that tree, and watering it for weeks afterward.
My parents sold that house when I was 12. My Mom always would tell the story about how much I cried because I had to leave that tree. I think now about ways that I've changed, but the thought of leaving trees behind still makes me sad. However I'm grateful that of the things that I grow attached to, that trees are on the list. I'm glad that I know their names.
I neglected, earlier in the summer, to mention that the U.S. has a new Poet Laureate, W.S. Merwin. We all should know his name too.