There’s a Japanese red maple tree in my side yard, massive in stature, its normally vibrant, deep red leaves darkened by autumn to a rich purplish-black hue. The tree came to us as a sapling – a gift to my oldest son when he was just a young boy, by a beloved grandfather who would one day betray the grandson he adored.
The tree has weathered much; New Hampshire nor’easters are never a gentle thing, yet the tree persevered and continue to grow no matter what kind of battering came its way. Over the years, it’s not only grown, but flourished, and then a couple of years ago, a particularly treacherous storm almost split the tree in half. We lost about a third of its branches and a piece of its trunk, and I wasn’t sure if it would survive.