Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fallen Hero

Dear Friends;

This morning, a giant was felled. Outside, the chainsaws are revving up. They will begin the dismemberment with the trunk that landed on the house next door, chopping it into tiny pieces. Already, the branches are piling up in the driveway. The smell is glorious; an odiferous farewell from a majestic conifer. The surgeon estimates the tree was 80-100 years old. There are 4 major trunks; the largest is about a foot and a half across. Where the old cypress spilt, near the base, you can see the rot. Besides a potential wound to a covered car, there doesn’t seem to be any damage. Removing it will be a carefully orchestrated affair.

Losing a tree that size is always a cause for sadness. When I lived in Leverett, Massachusetts, there were two huge White Pines standing like a royal couple by the road near my house. A bolt of lightning spilt one in half. It was like losing an old friend.

Sarah remembers when our cypress was “nothing by crows, crows, crows.” “Remember when I rescued that baby crow?” She had snuck it into the Aquarium in a shoebox with holes punched in the lid.

For now, the Spanish moss still twists with the breeze; by the end of the day, it will be in the chipper.

Now the machine is making a horrendous racket, an inglorious end for a century of faithful service. Maybe its remains will be sprinkled around somebody’s shrubbery, maybe even here in Pacific Grove.

I imagine I will choke up a little every time I walk out my front door and see the space where that glorious cypress one stood. Now, instead of its beautiful, Spanish-moss-covered branches, I will see the ugly apartment building across the street. But maybe it will open up a space to see the other glorious neighborhood trees. Rest in pieces, my friend.


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