One hundred years ago, it’s possible that this site was completely different. What is now a rotting carcass of a tree would’ve most likely been a sapling. It’s possible that the brook would’ve followed an entirely different path, not even coming close to the sapling. The topographic features would’ve been different, also. At the moment, the tree and brook are located at the bottom of a hill. It’s possible that before, it would’ve been higher up. I assume that once it was a large tall maple or oak tree. I believe it was destroyed in a storm, leaving the stump I see today.
The thing that originally called me to this site was the mushrooms on the side of the tree. I originally had chosen another site, but I found myself drawn to the mushrooms. In the past, when it was a living tree, it most likely didn’t have the mushrooms that called me to it, and I might not have noticed it.
My sense of place hasn’t entirely changed since I first saw my sight. I’m still drawn to it with a sense of wonder. Everytime I visit, I’m filled with excitement. I love the walk to my site. I have to cross the brook over a small boardwalk, and recently, the boardwalk washed away in a storm, so it’s been an adventure getting to my sight! I do feel at home at my tree. I feel safe sitting underneath it and working on field notes. It’s far enough from the trail that I feel secluded, but I always know how to get back.
The changing of the seasons has changed the feeling of my site. In the spring, I was surrounded by dense green leaves and lower shrubs. I couldn’t see very far past the brook. Now, after all the leaves have gone, everything is very open. I can see a meadow across the brook through the tree trunks. But, my sense of place hasn’t changed. I still feel connected to this place because of the relationship I’ve built with it. Even if the mushrooms, ferns, and brook disappeared, I would still feel connected to this spot because of the time I’ve sat and relaxed there. I will always remember the times I’ve brought people I care about to see it and the times I visited alone when I was stressed or anxious. Though things will change, it will always be my “shroom” tree.