In any regular year, we’d already have our tree. We’d have taken Austin to the tree farm weeks ago to fight over saws and carts with the other local families while waiting to pick the perfect tree from many perfect trees.
But then, this hasn’t been such a regular year… and somehow, like most things, our tree hunting experience came to represent our lives as they are now, and not so much as they were…
The usual families, crawling all over every corner, snacking on cider donuts and picking out wreaths, were gone… but hey, it was easy to find a saw and a cart.
Even if it wasn’t so easy to find that perfect tree.
As we wandered the grounds, I found myself feeling for the trees left on the lot… the ones with holes and brown needles, with malformed trunks… too fat, too skinny, rejected by the swaths that came before…
And soon, the two of us, there on the empty farm, just laughed.
Laughed at our muddy shoes, our miles walked, our search for not just the perfect, but the cheapest tree on the last day available….
Laughed at our predicament, Mark selling cars for scraps, both working our hands to the bone…
Laughed at how happy we are despite the hard year.
… and then we took home a sparse little Charlie Brown tree, because it was even more perfect than any tree that came before.