My cousin, John, who still lives in Louisville, Kentucky (where I grew up) just sent me this email:
Barby, I noticed your posting on facebook about the magnolia tree at your old, old, old house. I was over there the other day (we’re putting our house up finally). Look at your tree now.
When I saw this picture I almost burst into tears. I haven’t seen this tree, or this house, in fifty years. It bears a resemblance to my memory, but so much is different. I thought the whole house was bigger and made of stone. I thought the tree was closer to the street and the leaves closer to the ground.
Most likely, fifty years ago, the tree’s branches were lower. Still, what I’ve learned is that I color the past with my emotions. My house was a stone mansion. The magnolia tree was a refuge I wrapped myself in.
How I remember it feels more like the truth than the truth.