That’s it right there.
I take a deep breath, staring up at the branches. I follow a branch with my eyes, watching it wind and dance with the others, all going their separate way but somehow still uniform. The leaves, bright orange this week, call attention to this tree like a stop sign, flashing on the side of Shumway Ave. A tinge of green sits in the lower west corner, hidden from the high daytime sun. My favorite tree at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
I cut back across Shumway in front of the Parade Field with a skip in my step, the Clock Tower to my right. Shielding my eyes from the setting sun, I glance up as the light cuts through the tall maple overlooking the Clock Tower. The light scatters to shades of red, yellow, and green as it pierces the leaves, looking more like a disco ball than a shady tree. I pause for a second admiring it’s beauty.
Wait, I think to myself, that one’s my favorite tree.
Peering back at the road, I compare the two trees in my mind. The tree on Shumway has such amazing branches but the one on the Parade Field has the more beautiful colors. I reason through the problem in my mind, wavering back and forth as I stroll past the Chapel and towards the Arch. Still not wanting to accept the impending winter, I don’t wear a jacket. I’ll be able to see my breath in about 10 minutes but for now, the last bit of sunshine keeps me warm.
I stop in my tracks right before I cross under the Arch. My eyes focus high above the Arch, in awe of the tallest tree on campus. If it’s not the tallest, it’s easily in the top three. It’s branches reach out, stretching far across the road turning the SSM landmark into more of a tunnel than an arch. Bishop Whipple himself must have looked up and admired this tree. The pink glow from the setting sun covers the campus and I think about my next words.
This one, I pause, yes, this tree is my favorite tree at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.