Corner Brook, my husband’s birth place, was built around hills. Every day, with his friends from the upper valley, he walked to school in the lower valley. As they made the leisurely trek to school, he passed his grandparents’ house in the neighbourhood he knew so well. The familiar houses of the Mercers, Lawrences, Newhooks, and Georges were near the little maple tree which the children loved.
It stood on a slope outside a fenced lawn and was just big enough to support the young children who lined up by her every day as they walked along. Each in turn jumped to grab the young sapling and drop to earth as the tree gave way under the child’s weight. As the child let go, the tree would spring back, as if eager to accommodate another child. The ritual happened every day for years.
And they all grew up. Many of the children moved away as young people do, seeking lives and adventures elsewhere but the tree was rooted. Today, more than sixty years later, a gray haired man finds the tree on a Street View of Google Maps. It is still standing proudly, its trunk, an artifact to those from the upper valley who shared their journey with her.