When Josh offered to help me out of my template mess here, I gave him creative license and a huge grin he couldn't see from his side of the monitor, and the same with Andrea who helped on my portfolio site.
The thing is, I didn't see Josh's rendition until he was pretty close to finished.
That's the first time I saw the tree. Right there. Above here.
And I told Josh what I'll tell you now, but I didn't get a chance to really explain it to him, and maybe you won't believe it because you think, I know how she can be, but really, how am I? So what I meant to tell Josh is what I'm telling now: that the farm I've written about so often, the place where my father died when I was younger than my daughter is now, that home of innocence shattered, sat directly across the road from this field, this tree, this very day, the sun falling just so.
Or it could be.
And I mean -- during those years when the farmer across the road gave his soil a rest, and that field was cut clean and green, watered well by gray western New York skies, giving way to welcome sun and a so-damn blue -- the only thing standing between me and forever, forever being the end of that field I never reached on stubby five-year-old legs, was that tree.
Josh put me across the road, wondering when the farmer would cut us a path back to forever, the end of his field, which he would do each year, and my brother would race me as far as we could go, which was never to the end, if it had an end. I never found out.
And now there, in that place that Josh gave me back, stand pricey new homes of vinyl and pressure treated lumber, no field, no tree.
And no forever.
Except for here.