Tree has her drawbacks---she grows and drops freezillions of tiny green berries, hard as marbles, which rain down onto lawn, patio, rooftop and steps in Summer. They quickly darken and are small enough to stick inside shoe-treads, and thus make their way into the house, getting kicked down the stairs, all over the downstairs floors. And in socks or bare feet, it's like stepping on a single little pebble unexpectedly---a sharp pang in the sole of your foot which sends you hopping, perhaps onto ANOTHER of the crafty little imps lying in wait.
Vacuuming the floors of these things sounds like a little woodchipper-gone-wild, as they rattle around madly in the hopper, clicking and clacking their way into the bag.
But we LOVE this tree---she's WAY tall---like a six-story building, and her shade spreads even wider over the back lawn. You can just FEEL the cool shade when you step beneath her out of the hot Summer sun, like driving past a green afternoon grove in the South and feeling the cool, moist air across your skin.
And her bark is almost like that sharkskin fabric so beloved of gangsters in movies---shiny and reflective in the light---just beautiful at this time of year. I caught the day just right, and I wish the golden, satiny sheen of that old tree skin would show up as beautifully lustrous as it is---for now, anyway.
Soon she will be laden with leaves (and those treacherous little berries) and the cool of the patio will be sought often---with a welcoming chair, a book, a glass of something tall and cool to drink. How I'd like you to come and sit beneath My Tree---we'd have tea and talk the afternoon away beneath the shusssssh of the boughs. . . She's very welcoming, and she's very good at keeping secrets.