Environmental Scientist. Writer. Mother.

About Place Journal

Excerpt from “Seeing the Tree for the Forest”

I didn’t think she’d be strong enough to climb it.  When my mother told us about the leukemia, she said that Steffi would probably be tired, weak and bald from the chemo, that when we went back to visit, she probably wouldn’t want to climb that big tree in our old backyard.  Steffi was bald, all right, but when we went back to visit and all of us kids were told to go outside and play, she was the first one out the door, the first of us kids to reach her arms up into the branches, hook her legs over a thick limb, and muscle her way up into a crook of the trunk.  When she scooted out onto the branches, the sunlight pouring through the canopy made a vibrant crown around her naked head, igniting the few golden wisps of hair that remained.

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