When I think of the home of my childhood, I think of the squeaky gate and splintered fence. I think of the lilies on the back wall, waving in the breeze with fingers of grace. I think of the overgrown bamboo that hits the windows of my parents’ room sometimes, their movement like a bird pecking seed. I think of the many weeds in the front yard that grow with the winter’s rain and wither with summer’s sun rays.
But most of all, I remember the trees. The large eucalyptus trees that have been there as long as I can remember. The long years of the acorns pelting the roof of my house bouncing off concrete like a ball is natural to me. But, there is one time I remember about the trees, and the memory of it haunts me. It could have been worse, I sometimes think. If wasn’t for the concrete at the edge of my home, the trees would have cut my home in half, like cutting a slice of bread.
It was three years ago when I was twelve. A windstorm like rapid breathing had been going on all day, the acorns pelting the roof every minute. I had been trying to sleep that night, but the storm kept me awake. I got up to change the music I had put on to help me sleep, when a noise like thunder came upon my ears. I was terrified, and I ran to my mom screaming. I hugged her for a few minutes and then I heard my dad’s voice, “Karen, are you okay?” I wondered what had happened, my heart racing. When I went to my parents’ bedroom, it looked like a hurricane had passed, parts of the ceiling were on the bed, insulation everywhere, and books scattered throughout. But right next to my parents’ bed, a large tree trunk lay there like a dead body. I went to my room, and there was a tree branch through my window, glass covering the floor. In that moment, I knew what had happened. It was like having a sword stuck through my body. One of the eucalyptus trees that had been here for years had fallen on my house.
Today my house has been rebuilt and some of the trees have been cut down. But most are still there. Now whenever I hear wind, I am reminded of what happened to my family three years ago and it still terrifies me to this day. The trees are still beautiful and will be near my home forever. When I think of the home of my childhood, I think of the trees, both a beauty and a danger, like bees who give honey, but have a deadly sting.