EASTER 2017, Apache Junction, Arizona.

I had a house in Marquette, Michigan. Beautiful trees populated the five acre plot, and in time I named some of them. I found shade and solace near Ulysses, Chief, and Christmas. But my favorite was Easter.

Easter was a large maple, exploding with red leaves each fall. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, that meant late August and September. Easter grew next to my driveway. I remember pounding a shovel through rocky ground when I buried my first dog next to Easter. Each time I passed Easter, I noticed a small mound of dirt that covered Buster’s grave.

In winter, like me, Easter was cold. Every February I thought the trees would die. On bitterly cold days and nights, Easter and the other hardwoods popped and cracked with sounds like gunshots.

In spring, with snow on the ground, I noticed tiny buds at the end of long branches.

Easter lived.