I have a friend that I met at the gym. Her name is also Emily, and we’ve made dates off and on over the past year to work out together. We walk on the treadmill or around the indoor track when the weather’s bad, and we walk outside, from the gym to the park and back, when it’s nice. She takes the same weights class, which is where we met.
My friend is a few years younger and in a slightly different place in her life. We come from different backgrounds and have a lot of dissimilarities, but when it’s been a couple of weeks or more between workout sessions (usually because she’s busy with work), I miss hanging out with her.
Today we went on a walk at lunch. The sun was out, the sky was a piercing blue. The air was cool, but we walked fast enough to stay warm and chatted about her recent trip to Tuscon and our Halloween activities and all sorts of other things. Halfway through our walk we were in the park when she looked up at a huge oak tree and said, “I’ve found it!”
“Found what?” I asked.
“It’s my favorite tree,” she said. “That is a beautiful tree.”
And it was. It was still covered in giant leaves, and the colors ranged from a dark rust to orange to burnt gold to lemon to green, depending on which part of the tree you were looking at. The colors of the leaves sparkled in the sun, set off by the deep azure sky behind.
“I have a favorite tree at home,” she told me. “My mom takes a photo of it this time every year and sends it to me.” My friend is from Pennsylvania and usually only makes it home for Christmas each year. “I miss the colors,” she said. “Colorado is great, but it’s all aspens, evergreens, gold, dark green. I miss the red and orange.”
I need to find myself a favorite tree.