If someone told me that I would have to cling to a tree by a weak stem and endure 6 months of unspeakable temperatures, winds, and other such weather abuses in Chicago, I would simply let go of the thin strand and give up. I can’t handle -17 degree temps from the safety of a heated home, much less the front yard.
Months ago, the giant trees along our street gave up their tired leaves and stood naked in the elements. However, a small Japanese maple by our front porch held on to it’s prized leaves longer than I thought possible for a tiny, thin-branched tree. Well into the winter months, we could see it’s leaves holding on for dear life. As we trudged up and down the icy porch stairs and whimpered about the winter while wearing down parkas, the leaves endured without any layer of protection.
It’s March now, and there are still a few paper-thin stragglers hanging on to the thin purple branches by some miracle. I imagine that if they have made it this far, they will hang on to see the buds of the new generation. Making sure that all is well with the baby leaves that will be born (soon?), then maybe they can finally rest easy. I would have given up long ago along with the towering, yet wussy, oak trees.
I wish I had the strength for the winter that the Japanese maple has. It doesn’t even have butter and delicious baked goods to comfort it. But seeing the tree does comfort me. This week the time will change, and Spring will finally be within reach. This winter sucked. Yep. I am sure I have mentioned that. Worst one I have lived through yet, but I’m sure that I will love the spring even that much more this year. I am not sure what will happen to Megagood when warmth and green things finally return. I am certain that “Happy” doesn’t even begin to describe how I will feel. Stay tuned.