The sugar maple trees that are changing (us)

There are some sugar maples not far from my kids’ school that are changing. They’re changing form and color and they are changing the little community in which we live.

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I see our friends post on instagram how grateful they are to have these giving trees in which their kids can play in the leafpiles. They share snapshots of the trees, their tops starting to shed, suddenly looking immodest as if Autumn were the worst kind of closet-raider.

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The sugar maple tree in itself has a lovely shape. Strong but elegant, the kind you want to capture in a silhouette and put on a wedding invitation.

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I have a colleague who knows plantlife and he was the one told me the trees were the sugar maples. I am not very good with botany or ID-ing arbors. I am not typically observant of details–I am more intuitive, feeling the changing of seasons in my bones first and then with my eyes.  But it seems that everyone has been noticing these gorgeous sugar maples in front of the school. Men, women, children, the trees are the talk of the town.

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I took my lunch break to capture these images. I’ve worked at places where taking a lunch anywhere other than in your cubicle was practically an act of civil disobedience. And if stomping around on school grounds to admire some sugar maples is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

I’m not about to go all The Lorax on you or make reference to #leafporn. I just want to share how this feels. I cannot remember the last time a community (e.g. a neighborhood, a school, a workplace, a family) was abuzz about something marvelous. Usually the trending topic, the Facebook feed is rife with scandal, controversy, shocking statistics. It’s rare for our eyes to be collectively pointed to beauty.

I just want to be swept up in the autumnal adoration, especially because I can’t remember the last time we were all rallying around the glory of leaves.

I can’t remember the last time the word on the street was, “Wow.




I just want to stand at the end of the hallway and not look down its grand master corridor of tasks and forget-me-nots and stalling tactics of little sleep gangsters and not be filled with dread. I just want one night where it all goes perfectly robotically well.

Oh, your children are sleeping the sleep of snoring dwarves by 6:30 p.m. every evening? Our friendship is now in jeopardy.



TP’s wedding

Taryn and Mike

There’s a chapter in Lena Dunham’s new book where she talks about her little sister Grace. It’s a story about a little sister becoming herself and the big sister not really being ready to accommodate all that.

Taryn and Mike

Dunham writes:
“What I really wanted, beyond affection, was to feel that she needed me, that she was helpless without her big sister leading her through the world.”

Taryn and Mike

I could have written it. Big sisters have to protect, filter, make things infinitely harder for little sisters. It’s not just our job, it’s who we are.

Taryn and Mike

My baby sister got married this month. Before she walked down the aisle, I said, “I”m so happy you found your person. Someone to make you happy and mow the lawn for you.”

“Yeah, Mike hires someone to mow the lawn,” she laughed. “But I’m glad, too.”

Taryn and Mike

Taryn and Mike

TP looked absolutely resplendent. I may have gone before her down the aisle, but on the way out, I stood a few paces behind.

Taryn and Mike


Photo credits: Rentham Photography 

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