I was almost 1.
I remember.

I remember those long arms reaching out for me, grabbing me into a hug and lifting me way up in the air. While I was up, I looked down at my grandma while she was watering the flowers. She had a big smile on her face. Then my mom took me up the stairs and we ended up in the garden. It was a cloudy day and I could smell the dust in the air – I didn’t know it yet, but it smelled like rain.
She put me down next to a little tree, almost as tall as me. I couldn’t walk yet so I grabbed on to it as firmly as I could. My legs were wiggly and I wanted to grab onto my mom’s leg but she was too far. “It’s just you and me now, little guy.”
Now that I think about it, I and the tree grew up together. It grew tall and strong, way taller than me.
When I was old enough, I lifted my own roots and moved to another country, looking for a place where I could, just like the tree, grow and bloom.
Last year I went back home for the summer, to visit my family but something was different. There were more flowers in my garden, and the strawberries multiplied like crazy. I could see the glorious mountains now and the sea of forests spreading in the horizon, a beautiful view that used to be hidden by the trees in the garden.
My little cherry tree wasn’t there anymore. They told me it started drying out, and it didn’t make any more cherries in the last two years, so they’ve cut it down. Maybe it missed me.
It took me 6 years to realise how big of an impact nature had in who I am today.

National Geographic: “Every tree tells a story, but some are beyond eloquent, holding memories, embodying belief, marking sorrow. We hold trees in our imagination, where they grow in strange, wonderful ways in forests inhabited by fantasy and also by our fears. We incorporate the rich metaphors that trees provide: We turn over a new leaf and branch out; ideas blossom and bear fruit. Though our momentum is sapped, our resolve remains deep-rooted, and yet there are times when we can’t see the forest for the trees.”

I’ll leave you with this photo of my grandmother, and what’s left of my once majestic cherry tree.