Sunday, December 28, 2008

The tree

Years ago, when we were small, my sister and I helped my father plant two maple trees in the front yard. They grew to be quite huge and beautiful. We each claimed a tree.

When it came time to put the cistern in, the hole was dug by "my" tree, disturbing the roots, and causing the tree to gradually deteriorate. We have been watching the tree, verbalizing that it is time to call an arborist, as some of the tree branches are dead.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, sixty-two degrees, and we enjoyed the unseasonably mild weather. This morning, I was awakened at six thirty by the wind. I came out to the kitchen, turned on the heat, and watched the outdoor temperature drop by four or five tenths of a degree at a time. Between seven and seven thirty, the thermometer dropped over fifteen degrees.

When EG got up at eight, he went out to get the paper and came in to tell me to look out the front window. There, perfectly upright, was a branch from my tree. The fine branches had obviously been entwined in the branches of the other tree, and when the base of the branch broke off, it embedded itself in the ground, leaving the branch upright. Luckily, nothing hit the house, and if the branch does fall all the way, it will not hit anything.

So now I am faced with reconciling myself with losing the tree, another memory from my childhood, another connection to my father. We still have my sister's tree--and I guess that is appropriate, as I am in the house making my own memories with my own children, but I still grieve for that once-glorious maple tree.

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