Another Loss

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. ~Martin Luther, German professor of theology

A knot
Just big enough for a little girl’s rear
To sit astride, pretending she’s riding a pony.

A hole in its trunk
Ideal for concealing notes and trinkets
Meant for sharing with friends.

A canopy of shady branches
Perfect for three girlfriends to lie beneath
And find pictures in the passing clouds,
While whistling with the helicopter seeds.

Four trunks wide enough
To camouflage two Hide-n-Seekers
Watching ‘It’ and gauging when
It’s safe to race for Home.

Halloween brought friendly mischief
In the form of toilet papering,
That rite of passage in small towns
Delighting teens and vexing parent cleaner-uppers.

Countless birds and squirrels
Made nests and raised young here.
Cats became frozen statues at its base
Waiting and watching for something to fall down.

Mother Nature can be wrathful
Whipping up a wicked summer storm
That fells trees and costs homeowners
Not only money but memories.

Note: This Silver Maple sits on the property line between our house and our next-door neighbor. It was immense when I was a child, and part of me expected it to live forever. Sadly, a storm thought differently — two years after Domer’s Sugar Maple blew over. R.I.P., old friend.

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25 thoughts on “Another Loss

  1. Debbie, this breaks my heart because I have such a soft spot for trees. I love them. I think of them and see them as being powerful beings; containing so much wisdom. Whenever I’m feeling out of sorts, sitting under a tree in the park for an hour makes me feel so much better. I find trees to be so healing.

    Your poem is just beautiful. And as you shared, it’s the ” good memories” that trees hold that is the true loss.

    Have a great week ahead, my friend! X

    • I knew you’d understand, Ron! I, too, have an affinity for trees. They give so much of themselves to humanity and ask for so very little in return. The best thing about memories is that nobody can take them away from us. Enjoy your week ahead, my friend! xo

    • Thanks for empathizing, Beth Ann. Yes, she flat snapped it in two! Now we’re trying to get our neighbor to go halves with us in taking the entire thing down as recommended by the tree experts, who say it’s time. Nobody wants to pay what they want to charge, but I suspect if Mother Nature has another go at it, we both could be in a world of financial pain (particularly if it topples onto our roofs!)

  2. I laughed and laughed at the question about tp-ing. Been there, done that, and received that little gift a time or two. And you’re right: it’s not such a big deal, unless it rains.

    Sorry about the tree, but I’m glad to know that you’re thinking of taking it down. We understand that people and animals have allotted life spans, but plants do, too. When their time has come, they break and fray and rot, and they can do a good bit of damage when they’re in that condition.

    On the other hand, when the birches in front of our family home had to come down, my mother kept some of the logs and used them to decorate the fireplace in summer. When she sold the house, I took the logs, and they lived with me for several years, decorating my summer fireplace. Finally, I moved to a place without a fireplace, and the logs went away. But I still miss them. If I had it to do over, I’d still have them!

    • I have some fond memories of being the TP’er and some not-so-fond memories of cleaning it all up! It never ceases to amaze me how creative folks can get in where they choose to “decorate,” Ha! I suppose, as long as it’s just toilet paper — not eggs — it’s all in good fun.

      Thanks for sympathizing about this tree. Since its logs are mostly hollow, they probably wouldn’t be very good even for decoration (and my neighbor said the ones they stacked had lots of nasty grubworms inside, yuck!). I like the idea of keeping the birch logs though.

    • So sad, Tanya. I remember seeing the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Katrina — all those gorgeous live oaks, magnolias, and crepe myrtles uprooted like toothpicks. It takes a LONG time to replenish the landscape after such a wicked storm. I hope your neighborhood is trying to plant replacement trees.

  3. So sorry for the sudden demise of your beautiful tree, Debbie. Old trees like that are part of our lives – towering above us, offering summer shade & emergence of beauty in spring & fall. (Glad it didn’t hit your 🏠!)🙃 🌳🍁🍃🌳🙃

    • Me, too, Virginia! Thanks for empathizing. I guess we’ve all had “special” trees in our lives, trees we remember with deep affection. It’s going to cost a big chunk of change to remove this one (it’s extremely tall), but the greater harm would be having it topple into the house!

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