Monday, February 6, 2012

My Neighbor's Tree

DAY 265 (Year 2)

(NOTE: A bit of a side departure from Nothing New - I hope you see the relation to being deliberate in the use of all our resources. Thank you for reading!)

They are cutting down my neighbor’s tree.

I noticed a space in the sky when I pulled down our street on Saturday night – I had been gone for just a day but something felt different. Then I saw it. A big orange spray painted “X” on the tree two houses up the street from mine. A few of the bigger limbs and branches had already been trimmed...I knew what that meant.

It crossed my mind that a green X would have been nicer – a little more natural, more gentle.

I forgot to look again on Sunday in the light of day. The pending demise of this great tree went out of my thoughts as I focused on my travel recovery and everything I had to get done this week. A denial tactic, no doubt, to avoid thinking about the fate of this tree.

When I heard the trucks this morning, I remembered...

Dear Neighbor's Tree,

We were not close friends yet I felt your welcome to Monroe Street every time I returned home. Heading down my street – our street – was the last segment of all my journeys home, from daily errands or from a week away. The GPS would say, “turn right and you have reached your destination”, just as I rounded the corner. There you stood.

Your tall reach was an entry way to our little neighborhood. I always appreciated you but I never took the time to really get to know you. I am not even sure what kind of tree you are – maybe that doesn’t matter.

Maybe it’s wasn’t my place to get to know you – you were not MY tree. Maybe your owners knew you better – I hope so. You sat right in their front yard just a few feet from their house. You offered your shade in the Summer, your leaves in the Fall, your beacon of green in the Spring and your steady presence through the Winter.

As I witness your last day – a rare, sunny, blue sky day – all your branches are gone now – sections of your trunk hit the ground with a thud. Sad to be sure but maybe this is a return to your roots...

Oh Neighbor's Tree, I promise to treasure your cousins – the six black walnut trees that mark the corner of my backyard and the white pine tree that graces my front yard. I promise to notice your other relatives more and to remember that many of you were here long before us and will be here long after we are gone.

Thank you for your years of service to Monroe Street, for befriending the apple trees you have seen come and go in this former orchard and for your peaceful reminder that everything is temporary...even the good things...and that today is enough.


Your Neighbor – Kristin Skarie

1 comment:

  1. Recently, I noticed a woodpecker tapping into my White Pine tree. Much to my delight, it was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,Fast Growing Tree Nursery