I remember when Papa planted the acorn next to Momma’s grave. We was too poor for a headstone, and besides, Papa said a tree would be a living memory, a way to keep her alive, and every time we came back Momma’s love for me would have grown. It made sense to me. Maybe the tree would even have a little bit of Momma in it, and that oak tree would grow sky-high and drop more acorns down, kinda like her giving birth. Foolish sentiment, but when I was little, it made me feel better.
The cemetery went and put a fence up without a care to where we planted that acorn. I was spitting mad when I saw it and tried to yank it out, but it was cemented in place. That little tree grew like a beanstalk not caring a smidgeon about the fence which was just like Momma. Determined and stubborn.
I watered the spot telling Momma about my day, how Beau Fletcher stole my apple when Teacher wasn’t looking, or how I got an A on my math test. When I was twelve, Papa got a new job down in Bakerville. I worried about Momma being alone, but it always made me feel better to know that oak tree was giving her shade in the summer and keeping the rain off her some.
Papa and me would try and visit her at least once a year. We’d bring a picnic lunch and sit with her for a spell. That tree kept on growing just working its way around that fence like a permanent hug. Then Papa got another job. Last time I made it back, the tree was gone except for the part hugging the fence. That tree had lived a good long time. I put my hand against its center, the oldest part of the trunk, trying to make a connection with the little girl who planted an acorn with her Papa. I swear I felt her there with me.
At the other end of Momma’s grave, a sapling grew. Wasn’t more than four feet high, but it had a presence, just like Momma.
WordPress Photo Challenge: Out of the World I took this photo in Five Points, Denver, Colorado. I don’t know how ‘out of this world’ my story is, but I thought it was pretty crazy. To me, it proves nature will win every battle man puts forward. Mother Earth will survive no matter what we do to it. We just might not be around to see it.