Last night I dropped into bed while the sun was still lighting the sky. All of my exertions of the weekend finally caught up with me, and I took my aching back to bed nice and early.
Slept the dreamless sleep of the innocent for seven blissful hours. Heaven!
Of course, the downside of being in dreamland by 9pm is that I was up for the day at 4, but I’m not complaining!
It is a cool, clear morning. There are a million birds singing in the woods and the sun is just beginning to show itself through the trees. I decided to pour an iced coffee and go into the hot tub to watch it rise.
Can anything be more indulgent and more soothing than that?
I don’t think so.
I lay there, listening to the birds, watching the sky turn from gray to palest blue. I felt the hot jets massaging my neck muscles.
My eyes focused slowly on the leaves of the nearest trees, and I realized that I was looking at a tall young oak. It got me thinking, which shows you how well I slept last night.
When we moved in here, 24 years ago, that little oak was a tiny sprig. It was in the grass, in the yard, but I didn’t want to kill it with the mower. We left it to grow.
Nine years ago, when we got our little puppy, Tucker, that oak was about twice as tall as I am. I remember a summer day when Paul and the kids had gone hiking. Tucker and I took a nap in the shade of the little tree.
Now it is some 30 feet tall, rising above our deck. It looks like a real tree, not a sapling. It is spreading its branches out on all sides, reaching for the sunlight.
And it no longer stands in the yard; I hadn’t really noticed it, but the woods have crept slowly closer to the house over all these years. Now the oak is at the edge of the woods, surrounded by smaller saplings of pine, maple, ash and birch.
I wonder when the acorn that formed it fell? There are no other mature oaks near this one. Did a squirrel drop the acorn that managed to root here? Did it roll down the hill in a storm?