I first encountered New York in elementary school. At some point, probably through the school librarian, I heard about the book 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'.
I knew the book had something to do with a city, where trees were scarce enough to warrant a book title. I also knew the book was about someone growing up with a tree as a symbol of hope. But that's about it. I was busy enough reading other books, like the Narnia series, to read about some place called Brooklyn.
Now I live in Brooklyn, and the tree-lined streets make the book title seem out of place. The maples and oaks outside my bedroom window are turning red, signalling autumn. To me, they are less symbols of hope than nostalgia - time is passing, it's nearly fall, and winter will be soon be here. Time is speeding by much too quickly, and all I can do is reach out and appreciate tiny moments.
Photo by myself, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.