Three Trees

I love walking around the little school grounds close to our house.  I usually take our pup  Ranger,  for a walk (well actually, he takes me for a walk) along the fence line that divides the neighborhood and the elementary school.  I always thought it would be cool to live in one of the houses that shared a backyard with the baseball/soccer/football/playground/ field.  Hearing the kids everyday would make me happy.  We live pretty close to the school and can hear the kids playing when the wind is right.  On Field Days,  I can always hear the joy and the laughter of pure freedom and water-related revelry.  Such a wonderful sound, kids being kids.

On our walk the other day,  there was a baseball team taking practice on the field.  In the expansive field, there are 2 backstops, a make-shift diamond and a ton of rocks.  Doesn't make a great place to slide, but for these little guys, I think it was perfect.   We had pee-wee football happening in the opposite field, children playing on the playground, a Camp Gladiator group exercising in the parking lot and more kids swinging on the swings.  It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

I stopped to watch the team playing baseball for a bit.  They looked to be around 4 or 5 years old.  Some kids really got it. was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  As I was walking toward the backstop,  I noticed that one of the baseball players was relieving himself next to the one little tree in the center of the field.   I turned the other way to give him his privacy.  He ran back to left field and got back in the game.    I thought, dang...that poor little tree.  Dogs and kids and people running into it all of the time.   It clearly wasn't planted there.  It's probably a volunteer Oak or Pecan.   So, Ranger and I  wandered over the tree to talk to it.

When we got there,  I noticed that this little tree was not one volunteer, but 3.  3 refugees from a nearby home, I bet.  One windy day, years ago, they decided to break free of the fences and the limited backyard view and fly.  They landed in the big field...right in the middle where the kids play.  Perhaps they were kind of fed up with just hearing they took a chance, held their breath and landed right in the center of the action!   They might have ended up in the street or the parking lot, or worse yet, in another backyard... but were fortunate enough to find a prime spot to watch baseball, football and recess.  Maybe occasional kickball too.  Dang I used to love kickball.  And dodgeball.  I was good at dodgeball.  Not because I was quick or anything, but I had a pretty good arm.  I could catch that big ol' red rubber ball too.  I would catch it when the meanest of boys would try to get me out.  I would then fire that baby so fast, they wouldn't know what hit them.  It was me...the chunky girl with the curly hair that you made fun of yesterday.  The one you thought you could get out with your wimpy throw.   That's right...all of your buddies saw you get hit and try to weasel your way out of it.   I'm in your head now..

Anyway.. the trees.   So these trees have been growing for a good 4 or 5 years,  I think.  It seems like I noticed them one day, when the grass in the field was freshly mowed and the trees were left to grow.  The folks that take care of the elementary school lawn are very conscientious of the wild things.  They let random bluebonnets grow, the beautiful night flowers stay, the yellow daisy-like flowers that pop up in spring, flourish and the 3 little trees take root.  No one waters the trees that I know of.  Perhaps they took a leap this year and made me take notice,  because of all of the great rain we had.

Before recess, the children have to walk around the field, for exercise.  They walk the perimeter of the schoolyard to get their muscles moving and fresh air in their lungs.  Luckily for the trees, they walk right by them.  How cool for the trees to hear the conversations of these bright, wonderful beings!  How comforting it must be for the children to walk by the trees and experience new growth, even if they consciously do not notice it.  Each school day, the trees get to say hi to the kids walking from the park on Country Squire Drive to school, too.  After school, the trees get to see them walk from school, back to the park to meet their parents, grandparents or friends.   Maybe they even whisper to the kids who need it..."Hang gets better."  "Tomorrow is another day.  You can do this."  Maybe they are motivational trees, sent there by our kind and benevolent Universe to bless them with hope.   These trees will see and hear all kinds of things, if they are allowed to stay and thrive.  Hopefully in years to come they provide shade for the weary,  a rest stop for kids and pups, a climbing place for the daring and home for wildlife.  

Tonight on our walk, I will smuggle a water bottle with some Miracle Grow in it for a treat.  Or am I messing with the random plan?   Maybe I'll ask them first.

Friday, Oct. 14th 2:30 pm.  10 minutes before school lets out.


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