One morning when I awoke very early, I saw my mother walking up the hill to the barn. Mist hung about the ground, finches were singing in the oak tree beside the house, and there was my mother, her pregnant belly sticking out in front of her. She was strolling up the hill, swinging her arms and singing:
Oh, don’t fall in love with a sailor boy, a sailor boy, a sailor boy— Oh, don’t fall in love with a sailor boy, ‘Cause he’ll take your heart to sea—
As she approached the corner of the barn where the sugar maple stands, she plucked a few blackberries from a stray bush and popped them into her mouth. She looked all around her—back at the house, across the fields, and up into the canopy of branches overhead. She took several quick steps up to the trunk of the maple, threw her arms around it, and kissed that tree soundly.
Later that day I examined this tree trunk. I tried to wrap my arms about it, but the trunk was much bigger than it had seemed from my window. I looked up at where her mouth must have touched that trunk. I probably imagined this, but I thought I could detect a small dark stain, as from a blackberry kiss.
I put my ear against the trunk and listened. I faced that tree squarely and kissed it firmly. To this day, I can smell the smell of the bark—a sweet, woody smell—and feel the ridges in the bark, and that distinctive taste on my lips.
In my mini journal, I confessed that I had since kissed all different kinds of trees, and each family of trees—oaks, maples, elms, birches—had a special flavor all its own. Mixed in with each tree’s own taste was the slightest taste of blackberries, and why this was so, I could not explain.
From Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.
Have I mentioned how much I love children’s literature? I have. Ok then…carry on.