There is a certain kind of tree that, in the spring, turns into a breathtaking riot of pink petals so full that its dark branches bend toward the earth under their joyful weight. I do not know the name of the tree, but I remember there was a row of them leading toward the entrance of my school. As a child, I would walk slowly under them, pretending they were my castle rooms, their frothy pink ceilings shielding me from the April rains. Imagine my delight last year when I found one of these trees along the path to the bus stop. Every morning in the spring, my children and I stop and stand in what my little one calls the “room of flowers.” We needn’t use our umbrellas as we pass under the tree: the sidewalk beneath is rarely damp, shielded by the endless pink petals. As I watch the leaves float to the ground in November, I already look forward to disappearing under the blooms once again in the spring.

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