I find I have fond affection for the small hemlock under whose wide branches I sought refuge that cool October day. The soft rain having changed its mind turned cold and hard, and I — caught without a hat or jacket — had no choice but to suspend my walk for a while. And so it was I tucked into a dry spot beneath the hemlock at the side of the trail and leaned into her, perhaps for comfort or camaraderie — we will wait this out together. You can form bonds like that, you know, with trees. It comes almost instinctually, as if pulled up from some deep primordial well of remembrance. She was and remains like kin, and I wave when I pass her now. I like to think she nods back.