We have a shrimp tree in our backyard. I don’t know the real name, but that’s what my mother-in-law told me it’s called. Most of the year, it’s kind of ugly. It loses all it’s leaves in the fall and stays naked for a solid six months. Late summer, the flowers start to die. They wilt, turn brown, and dangle from the tree like little corpses until they fall and litter the ground.
But this time of the year, the tree is beautiful. Bright green, fern-like leaves shade a good portion of our yard. The salmon pink flowers seem to bloom all at once. One day, I’ll go to bed seeing only the green leaves and the next morning tufts of pink are popping out all over.
The tree is one of the things I love about this house. It’s calming for me. I like to spend time under it, just looking at the flowers blowing in the breeze.
Last week I was standing under it while the girls were playing on the lower level of our yard in the kiddie pool. Penny followed me up first, then came Sammy and Ella. It was one of the first really hot days we’ve had here. Sammy started to complain about the heat but wouldn’t go back to the kiddie pool.
I grabbed the hose and put my thumb over the end. As the water sprayed, I got the rare chance to see my three girls all enjoying the same thing at the same time in their own way.
Samantha started right under my hand, ran straight out, and stood under the water soaking her hair, before running back and going again. Ella ran part way with Samantha, receiving a light mist, but stopping before getting too wet. And Penny, the first summer she can run, stood by watching for a while. After some encouragement, her chubby legs moved as fast as they could right under the arcing water while she squealed her delight.
Three little girls enjoying a simple summer pleasure under the shrimp tree. I love that tree.
(It’s also a good place to take a nap.)