Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Of trees and other trauma. . .

Me, a few years ago, with the tree. . . 
There's a healthy old sycamore in our backyard -- majestic and magnificent, thirty, forty, feet tall.
We're taking it down today.

*I* am taking it down today.

I have singlehandedly made the decision to
bring down a

What if trees have feelings?

What if the loss of this giant -- a stoic, constant member of our family -- symbolizes some greater loss,
some worse trauma,
some butterfly effect that starts

What evils did this beautiful old tree ever impose upon me?

In fairness,
it has some mold, some fungus, untreatable (I have tried for three summers),
unrelenting, that has,
for the past four years,
seen it dropping its leaves, fuzzy and brown, plentiful, as if it were fall.
From May through September.
Then, October comes, and it drops them for the season once and for all.

The tree is a constant, shedding, mess of dead leaves.
Sometimes, its bark peels off in strips to join in the action.

In my further defense. . .

My property is small -- 1/4 acre all told -- and the backyard, modest, encircled with gardens I work hard to maintain, and a small pool I take advantage of daily, though it is too small to even swim satisfying laps in these days. . .

The brown, moldy leaves cover everything.
Every day.
All. Summer. Long.

It is sweaty work, if you've never done it, raking a fall-like yard full of leaves in the middle of July.

The saucer-sized leaves get stuck in the lavender stems, the hydrangea branches,
drift on the surface of my
once pristine

Me, 2009, in front of the tree. 
They clog the lawnmower,
get dragged indoors.

Brown, moldy leaves in my living room. . .

But are these really
such unforgivable crimes for twenty years of beauty and
free shade?

There's an otherwise healthy old sycamore in our backyard, its seasonal show succumbed to the ravages of
climate change, and

Just as I have, and

I'm taking it down today. The trucks are here, felling limbs, loudly grinding its branches down to nothing.

I am murdering it, if you will.

If it's any consolation, it is not without remorse, without a price to pay.
I will dream about it;
I could water its hefty roots with my real tears.

The sycamore tree in my yard is all but gone.
blown to bits through a shredder,
its few remains
peppering my yard.

Dear tree,
I will miss you.

I'm very, very sorry to see you gone.

- gae

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