I wonder if that maple tree is still standing along the gravel drive off Norman road. It’s where the old farmhouse was alive with comings and goings; home cooked meals, and overnight sleepovers some fifty years ago. That’s how long it has been since I sat under it’s gnarled branches as a boy of ten. My mother had just given me the thirty-minute warning of our departure, “Get your stuff, it’s time to go home,” she yelled. I didn’t want to go. It was Sunday. I hated Sundays because it meant school the next day. I was alone.
As I sat under the tree I had this out-of-body experience. The air was still, almost too still, the way it is before a storm. I felt as if I was the last person on earth, but I wasn’t afraid. At one point I could see my self from a bird’s eye view. I didn’t feel human at that point - more like a spirit, and the place I was sitting didn’t seem real either. It seemed taken over by something foreign. Maybe something happened on this plot of land years earlier. I’ll never know, but the experience remains sacred as does that patch of earth with the maple tree. This was earned land where Valeriano and Martina raised their twelve children. My father was the second youngest. Manuela, the oldest, died at age six in 1918, the year they immigrated to America from Morelia, Mexico.