On a cheesecloth foray for the 12-year-old and her friend (a must have for making mummy luminaries), the kids and I stand in a parking lot, and I point out a maple tree across Route 15. More or less, the foliage is finished around us now, but this mature maple had gold at the crown sprinkled down to green at its lower branches.
We were in one of the uglier areas of town, swampy, with a gas station/liquor store, a depressing Dollar Store, some rundown houses and trailers. The tree, however, was so exquisite that my daughter’s friend remarked it appeared to be pruned. We laughed at that thought – as if a ladder could scale this great beauty, as if human hands might shape this natural perfection.
Across the cemetery is another lovely maple; down Spring Street are the silver maple gems…. and on and on…. And if you’re in Montpelier, admire the maples on the library’s lawn.
Her teacher’s certainty it must be Mabel
Made Maple first take notice of her name.
She asked her father and he told her, “Maple—
Maple is right.”…
From Robert Frost’s “Maple”