I whined a few weeks ago about the loss of our beautiful Water Oak in the side yard. Each morning, I have missed that golden, dappled light as I do my morning coffee and Bible reading. I started thinking about what we could do to replace that old soul that was outside our window. Alas, there is no replacing, as the thing was at least 85 years old and bigger than the house, but something had to be done.

One afternoon, as I was watching baby Ethan at my daughter’s house, we took a stroller walk around the neighborhood. I saw several mature trees that made me pause. The light was filtering through them like the magic in a wonderful movie. There was curling bark and leaves dripping like they had nothing to do but show off. After a little research, I found out that they were River Birch trees. I remembered an old friend who had two massive ones flanking the walkway to her fancy Buckhead house. I always loved them, with their unique bark and the way they affected the sunlight with their willow-like leaves. I also recalled that her evil gardener talked her into sawing them down. I bet he got tired of moving leaves around.