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Growing up ...

Growing up in the Old North End was a magical for many reasons - - my mother and grandmother also grew up here so I had a strong sense of shared space and history as I cavorted and played.  One of the greatest attributes of the wonders of our beloved neighborhood is the great outdoors that surrounds our beautiful homes.  My memories of play and wonder are very linked to the natural environment surrounding us.  The sheltering medians of elegant trees throughout ONEN were a place of play and imagination, of daydreaming and beauty, of adventures to be had.

My early memories include nights in the medians with flashlights, hunting for earthworms for fishing trips or science experiments.  Something very jaunty about being out at night with a flashlight in a park right outside your door;  it was almost as swashbuckling as Indiana Jones as a child.

Growing up, my beloved piano teacher Verda Laurie gave lessons out of her home in the 1300 block of N Nevada.  Every week I would make the five-block jaunt, and most of the time I chose to walk down the middle of the medians rather than the sidewalks.  In my younger years I would imagine I was in a forest far away as I’d take my walks -- imagining Sherwood Forest and Robin Hood, and dallying a bit too long before making it to my lessons.

As a teen, I would also take books into the median, sheltering under these beloved trees in the soft long grass and escape and daydream as well.  One of the most astounding and beautiful works of nature’s art is the incredible tangled climbing branches of a tree outlined against the sky.  They are restful and somehow transporting -- even as the traffic has increased over the many years on Nevada Avenue.

Losing these beautiful trees that have raised and sheltered and inspired and nurtured me my entire life, as well as my family in generations before, is crushing to me. The thought of never seeing such grandeur outside my home again is a loss I am grieving still after numerous months of learning about our beloved historic trees.   But then I realize that nature is cyclical and I must not only grieve but drea -- and plan and restore and rebuild for generations to come -- for little girls yet unborn who may be inspired as they wander and wonder  in the shelter of so much beauty, 

Melody Griffin