December 6th, 2015: 3:00 pm.
Today feels more like winter. I note that it is pretty chilly outside as I sit down on my rock, holding my coffee in my hands to keep them warm. The sky is a very, very pale blue, almost gray. The sun is not out to keep me warm today. I zip up my jacket and settle in.
Mari doesn’t seem to mind the cold. She stands as tall as she did the other day, while I huddle and crunch myself into a ball to stay warm. Her branches remain splayed out all over the place, while I tuck my arms into my sleeves and cross them against my chest.
A few people walk by, headed to the Quarry to seek warmth and sustenance. I smile at them if we make eye contact, and most of them smile back. I remember that this is one of the things that drew me to Dickinson; everyone seemed so kind and friendly. I take a sip of my coffee and notice that all around my feet are brown, deteriorating leaves, and I realize that they were Mari’s. I remark how odd it is that I didn’t notice before today, but realize that since the other day was so beautiful out, I was looking up at the sky and not down at my feet.
Mari’s leaves scattered around her trunk and her tree tag.
I look around and see if there is anything else I hadn’t noticed before. Lo and behold, there is! Mari has a silver identification tag on her trunk that reads 585. I assume I never noticed it before because it was hiding under her leaves. I think about all the other things that I didn’t notice as much about Mari until her leaves dropped; the texture of her bark, the way her branches are randomly placed, the knots in her trunk. It makes me think about what else I don’t know about her. Even though I have been spending all semester getting to know her, I don’t know her all that well. She is a curious little tree, and I learn something new about her every time I visit.