For the last 18 years, when we are coming home after a long road trip, there is a tree that welcomes us.
Amidst the prairie farm fields, in a particularly flat stretch, this tree unexpectedly breaks up the landscape, triumphantly announcing that we only have 100km left on our journey home.
It was already a large tree when my husband and I first admired it, as newly weds, on our return home after visiting family in a different province. Since then, things have changed with each visit.
There have been the uplifting changes, like the years when there were new arrivals to the family – the births of my son, and his cousins. How wonderful it is to watch children grow, and it is hard to believe how fast it happens! This July will be the first time that one of them, my eldest nephew, will spend the whole summer working away from home.
There have been the inevitable losses, too. Sadly, my husband’s parents are both gone now, his childhood home sold. That summer tradition of the family sitting together in that backyard, near that lovingly tended garden, a finished chapter.
Many rich moments connect the years between those road trips. And after all this time, our majestic old friend still welcomes us home.