The Old Climbing Tree

I grew up with access to a great climbing tree in the backyard. It was chopped down last summer.

What’s really interesting is how much also changed in this area in the 30 years since I first moved to the neighbourhood. In the (my) beginning, the yard on the south side had remnants of a farm lot, concrete barn foundations, two crab apple trees, which the neighbour let us pick to made juice (my mouth still puckers at the memory of the tart little apples). Also gone, a row of towering cottonwoods, which would have been pictured above, where now a glorious patch of ordinary grass tries to grow, a peninsula between asphalt seas.

To the north, where our family’s huge garden, backing an aging shop (my dad’s car reconditioning shop) and a small rental house have been removed, now called home to a row of simple townhomes (thus the other parking lot).

Speaking to those with memories older than mine, they speak of the days when the area was all farmland. Even the neighbourhood where my childhood house was built was once a farmer’s field.

Call it progress, or simply change, even the largest and most dear of trees won’t stand in the way of it.

Here’s a little zine about the tree’s good old days, and mine.