There’s an oak tree at 7001 Windmill Lane. A very nice one, actually.

I know this because I live next door at 7005, and look at that tree more than anyone else in this world. It’s out by the driveport, green and rich and pretty.

The folks who live there, my neighbors, never get time to see it.

Alvin works at one of the industrial plants. Sheila is a nurse somewhere.

I used to be back in that corporate world, never thinking I’d be semi-retired at 46.

But here I am, with the cards on the table facing up. This particular tree actually sprouts on the first official spring day, March 21.

I always thought it was a myth, but I’ve seen it happen.

The white buds look magnificent, whether rain or shine.They shake when the wind comes in, and drip when the rain goes.

Summer shows up, and the oak tree survives the heat, hurricanes and anything else. I usually see it in a haze, as the world just runs by with the Beatles somewhere off in England. But it’s nice to have good neighbors.

When Alvin and Sheila learned I quit my corporate job, they wanted to help. I gave them a resume and some contact information, and am grateful for the support.

But for now I think I’ll just sit here and look at that old oak tree.The Beatles call, and the tree and the sky aren’t far behind.I see many ghosts, but not bad ghosts.

I see the world moving, and myself just sitting there.

But it’s not really a bad thing. In fact, it’s what I always wanted to do.

As the tree is there once again, my good companion on a warm night. And the moon looks very good. And Venus shines.

E-mail Robert Hankins at