Thirteen years ago this summer, we moved into a new house in a new neighborhood. Unlike our old house, #7 in a row of 17 townhouses squashed together like so many gummy bears in the bulk bin, this new house abounded with yard space. We went to work filling it with trees: two apple trees, which were "Dad's trees," a magnolia for Mom, a spruce picked out by Fraser, and my tree, a Japanese maple of the cute 4-foot-high variety. My first choice would have been an ornamental cherry tree, but for some reason, that wasn't going to work. I contented myself with wandering down the rows of young trees at the nursery, drinking in their scent and sneezing when the pollen became too much for my nose to handle.
The cemetery and surrounding grounds at the Spalding mission took me back there, to when I was a seven-year-old defining her ideal adult life in terms of the trees and plants that would grow around her house. The dream hasn't changed.