We have, out in the big garden, two lovely Chinese Chestnuts. I am not sure of their exact species. They are, as far as I can tell, dwarfs. In twenty years* they have not grown appreciably larger than about fifteen feet in height and spread. They are quite elegant in their outline and have spectacular yellow/pink/white flowers every year (the hummingbirds adore them). Two years ago, they managed to have fertile seeds. I knew of only one seedling, and carefully tended it in a pot before planting it in prime location this spring. In the week since, I have found two others.
They are lovely trees. But they are also memorials. For me, the two mature ones are inextricably linked to my grandmother, Eileen. They were well loved by her. I presume she planted them when she was still able to garden. Shortly after she planted them, for a myriad of reasons, the garden became an impossible, overrun tangle of Norway maple seedlings and weeds. That they are now focal points of the garden, how I wish I could share that with her. They are, I suspect, (though I shall never know) a dream of a lovely garden deferred a generation. In them there is a lesson: what comes after cannot be controlled, what looks like failure may not be, for even as we fail it may be that in our failure we have cast dormant seeds that will succeed. Victory even in darkness.

*As far as I can tell they are nearly the same size as when I started wandering about in an overgrown tangle as a teenager.