Walking. Under the Red Maple.

Cove Island Park Walk. At Daybreak. 394 consecutive days. Like in a Row.

A handful of days after the long Memorial Day weekend. Reader: Hold that thought.

4:36 a.m. Dark Sky app is calling for 100% cloud cover, 50% chance of rain. Ugh.

I’m out the door.

I arrive at the park. Cloud cover ~60%. No rain. Not a hint of rain. Take that Dark Sky A.I.

Two loops around the park and I’m heading back to the car.

I’m 500 feet from the parking lot and I notice the tree.

Was this beautiful little tree here before? No chance. I would have seen it, for sure. Almost 400 consecutive days in a row, and I missed it?

Look at the fresh soil build up around the base. Could a tree this large have been transplanted?

What kind of tree it this? Red Maple? Could you possibly be this clueless? A Canadian who doesn’t know his trees?

I glance at my watch. Time to get home.

I quickly snap a shot of the tree and keep walking. And note that I couldn’t even get the entire tree within the frame. Really!?!


I stop.

This tree is pulling me back.

I walk back.

John Liberatore Jr.

He was 21 years old.

Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 5:26 am, June 3, 2021. 67° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.


  1. Maybe you weren’t ready/able to see this until this day

    Liked by 3 people

  2. …and now you will be faithful for him…and to him. Semper Fi will have new meaning.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. A beautiful way to be remembered.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The timeline, age and service branch suggest ‘Nam was his enemy. I hope his loved ones are comforted by the sight of this tree.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Not forgotten, deeply rooted in our DNA – honor those who served. And on a separate note – a Canadian who doesn’t know a maple leaf 🍁????

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Beautiful tree. And a lovely resting place for the poor boy

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a great tribute to soemones life, it lives on.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a gorgeous tree for the young man.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael Zahaby says:

    Gorgeous. May he RIP

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Perhaps it is that after “394 consecutive days. Like in a Row.”, you are able to see not just the wide-view with its majestic, sweeping sunrises, and geese taking flight and waves crashing but the tiny delicate strands of grace that make up the ‘all’ of all you have witnessed in your 394 consecutive days. Like in a Row.
    Perhaps, in that delicate plague that tells a story of a life survived by a tree, is the beauty of all you have seen over your 394 consecutive days. Like in a Row journey — the beauty of all of life is not captured in the big picture. It is experienced one step at a time.
    Which… begs the question… if each day represents (and I’m making up a number here) an average of 6,000 steps, that’s 2,388,000 steps — you’ve come a long way baby! In more ways than one.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. What a beautiful tree and exactly what we should do to honour those who have passed instead of a headstone. Just on a side note…when you mow the lawn or do anything around the house do you say to your wife. ‘Mowed the lawn…. like 2,456 in a row???’ Ha 😛😂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Somehow this slipped past me. Beautiful tree, beautiful post, DK.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How moving that someone who is deeply moved by the beauty of this red maple [I think…] selected this specimen to honor a precious son of maybe a friend or relative. Brings tears…for love and remembrance. Interesting that I find this wonderful post 3 days later while a wonderful crew of men are removing 3 ash trees (stories high and in danger of causing havoc if not removed). Trees can certainly have a long life!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hahahaha … well, when taken by surprise, perhaps memory fizzles … man with the maple leaf motif … Immediately I noticed the too-new compost surrounding the tree, so eventually even gardeners(?) (Maybe!) get a pass for missing it, under the circumstances. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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