Lu was just a baby when we first used the tree for Comfort. I set her down, wrapped in a blanket and screaming, on the first burl-ledge and stood there thinking about why I got so upset she got upset. The twilight and fresh air, the play of fall leaves above her, seemed to work almost instantly, and when we came inside we had a name for the tree.
The last formal visit to the tree belonged to Kate and Finn, who climbed up to the big fork to have a deep conversation about something, now forgotten, that was very important at the time. In between these mileposts, it was a fort, hiding spot, guardpost, cat-perch, and tower in a castle. In addition to children, it was host to many woodpeckers, especially in the last few years, and was part of the squirrel highway that allowed safe passage along the street, out of reach by cats.