The Love Tree

I’ve been invited to a wedding located in an unusual setting next week.  It’s being held up in a tree, and no, my friends are not raccoons. Here’s the story:
The Treelovers were having problems with their marriage. Though still close after twenty years together, life was woodpecking (sorry about the tree metaphors) at them, whittling away a relationship forged when they were in high school. They were true childhood sweethearts.
But issues with their troubled teen, and disagreements on how to deal with that, among other things, had created a gap. The Treelovers are not the battling type, so that meant silence in the house, things left unsaid, a kind-of simmering. Sometimes that can be even worse than a dramatic end to a marriage, as many of us know. Maybe, as in death, it’s better to go quickly?
One balmy summer evening, just before dusk, as Mr. Treelover pulled into his driveway after a long commute, he glanced over at his back yard towards the large Fir tree centered there. As he tells it, it was as if seeing the tree for the first time. How long had those lower branches been so accessible, as if they were ladder steps?
It had been a frustrating workday and there’d been tension with his wife that morning, so he dreaded going inside. And then he didn’t. He went directly around to the backyard and began climbing the tree. When he stopped he was over thirty feet high, where the air was clear and the view magnificent.
He’d settled on a huge branch, which grew just underneath and outside a smaller branch, so the effect was that of a bench. A bench made in heaven! And that’s where he stayed for about an hour of blissful serenity.
Midway thru and far below he saw his wife come outside, check out his car, look around a bit, then go back in. But his cell didn’t ring. She was leaving him alone.
This was the beginning of their new beginning.
Back inside, there was a noticeable lift in the emotional cloud cover. They had a brief chat about where he was, a couple of smiles were actually cracked, and dinner went pretty well. Maybe some of it was that the son had finally returned to college and his energy was gone for now. But they will both swear that it was more than that. It already was the tree.
For days and then weeks after, deep into August, Mr.Treelover went directly to the tree after work. Like many men go straight to the television, or the computer, or to play with the kids, this became his routine. He’d take a glass of wine up sometimes, but mostly not. He’d watch the critters and micro-critters, and gaze off at the boats and the sunset, and then he’d come down.  Chilled, so to speak.
His wife would be waiting with dinner and gradually, over that month, things began to settle between them. Once or twice they mentioned the tree, but really they left it alone, it was just what it was. They started to enjoy being with each other again
About six weeks into this, during an especially colorful sunset, Mr. Treelover drove in as always, only this time his wife was standing outside waiting for him. He got out of the car and she asked if she could join him in the tree. Without hesitation he took her hand and (her version), as if he was courting her, escorted her carefully up to his once-exclusive realm.
By now, the branches were molding into the perfect aerial loveseat. So that’s what they did. They lovesat. (And, he says, they made out like teenagers again).
For the balance of the summer the new routine was for her to meet him at the car with a picnic, or drinks, or a flower, or nothing! They’d gently climb to their spot, hold each other until dark, go downstairs to dinner/bed, look forward to the next day.
Both of them now say this past summer was the best summer of their lives. And they’d like to thank the universe with a renewal of their vows on their 20th wedding anniversary.
For the guests’ comfort, and to keep the loveseat their private domain, the ceremony will be held on the lower branches. There will even be chairs on the ground for those who prefer to gaze up at the action.
But my friends will be up in the tree, the Love Tree.

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