A two story condo. A little porch. A big steep hill in front of the porch. Just a few steps from our house. It’s summer and the hill is covered with tall dry grass. My first summer in Utah. Unmercifully hot and unusually long. It’s already early September but the temperature outside is still close to one hundred.
I look at the hill and it’s so bare and so deserted. I dream about trees. I dream about tall maple trees, birches and pine trees growing on our hill. I hear their whisper. I imagine how they will grow tall and look at our windows. They will welcome the birds and become their home. The birds will raise their offsprings, sing their songs in the early mornings. I dream and wish that my dreams come true. At some moment I begin to believe that I can help my dreams come true. I can plant trees on our hill.
I have my hiking boots. They are strong and serve well on the steep rocky hiking trails. One day I put them on and climb on our steep hill with a shovel. I build the small curvy paths. There will be many of them. I will name them the Rome Road.
I don’t know much about trees, I never planted one single tree in my life but I can learn how to do it.
Every morning I climb up the hill in my hiking boots to prepare it for the trees. The soil is hard and rocky, my shovel hits rocks all the time. When it happens I stop digging and move to a different place.
Slowly step by step the part of the hill is ready for the trees. First come two little aspens and one tiny pine tree. Then in autumn a Big Tooth Maple will find a home on our hill. Over the years there will be ten young trees on the hill; a few aspens, one spruce, two pine trees and one birch tree. They will become a home to noisy magpies and robins and their offsprings will be raised there.
The hill after several years will turn into a little forest. And then… it will be destroyed by fire. Almost all the trees will be burned. Our hill will be covered with black ashes. The bare trees with black trunks will remind that once upon a time it was a young beautiful forest.
Every story has an ending. My story has a happy ending. The Big Tooth Maple and the birch tree survived the fire. They are beautiful. Our hill slowly turned again into a forest but this time it’s wild and unruly.