When people think of oaks, they usually think of the towering red or white oaks, or the twisted live oaks of the seashore, but the first oak that comes to my mind is the pin oak.
I realize that though I grew up close to quite a bit of forestland and was often surrounded by trees, it was the old pin oak that grew in my grandmother’s front yard.
The pin oak was old, time is written into its weathered gray bark, and gnarled branches told a tale of storms weathered, of chill winter winds, of soft spring rain, and of glorious summer days.
I spent many long summer evenings under the pin oak, it was, at times one of the massive boles of Mirkwood Forest, or perhaps old Treebeard the Ent. At other times the pin oak may be some exotic and alien fungi bound to the soil of some as a yet undiscovered world. No matter where my imagination took me the tree went with me and played its part in discoveries made and kingdoms won.
To some, the best memories of childhood may revolve around a trip to some far-flung and exotic location, or a certain particular time away at camp. To me, the best times of childhood took place right down the road, at Granma’s house, under the pin oak.
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