The parcel of land that our house and our neighbors’ house is built on used to be an abandoned forest lot that was used as the neighborhood playground and hang-out spot. Everyone, Luke included, played, hiked, rode bicycles and dirtbikes, and swam in the river from the land that is now ours. Some evidence of this use is still visible on our neighbors’ property where my very favorite tree lives.
I’m not positive, but I think it’s a gray birch. I like to call it the tattoo tree. There are names and dates carved into its bark that go as far back as 1964, from what I can read. Initials, school names, and sayings like “have no fear for I am here” cover the bark from the ground up. I wonder if SP and BH are still in love. It certainly looks like KS and JD broke up after that big X was carved over their heart.
Some motivated individuals even climbed the tree to carve into the trunk 15 feet off the ground. I’ve searched and searched but I’ve never found any initials that Luke carved into the tree when we were teenagers. I’m very disappointed in this fact.