A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

By Linda Elissalde
A Christmas Tree Grows On Crystal Beach
A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN was an award winning young readers book in 1943. The movie released in 1945 won several Academy Awards. I loved both. The story is set in the early part of the 20th century, and its theme shows how love and tenacity can overcome hardships. It is about an immigrant couple, their children and the hardships of poverty, alcoholism and despair. However, Francie Nolan, the daughter, works toward a better life through education and writing. Her belief that life can be better is strengthened by a scruffy, old tree that manages to grow in their courtyard despite lack of soil or care. Her father nick names it “The Tree of Heaven”. 2020 echoes themes of loss and despair also.

Marcel and I were taking our morning beach stroll (aka being dragged along by Emma) the other morning. What is that we see? It looks like a Christmas tree growing on the beach. With closer inspection we found that the tree was tied to boards holding up #99 trash can. The tree was beautifully decorated and even had wrapped up packages underneath. We do not know who created it, but what a jolly item to find on a beach.

My mind went back to A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. It seemed symbolic that this lovely tree was located by a trash can. A place to throw away many sadnesses of 2020 and keep good memories of shared happy times to decorate our trees. We took away hope from a Christmas tree that had no reason to be “growing”in sand. Why, it even had a star on top.

I will choose to use this as my symbol as I say good riddance to old 2020 and welcome a New Year with visions of better times. A tree did indeed grow in Brooklyn, but it is A CHRISTMAS TREE THAT GROWS ON CRYSTAL BEACH.



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