If you were in the Chicago area yesterday, you experienced some incredibly weather early in the morning. For about thirty minutes, it was pretty much a downpour, with lots of wind and lightning. The Real Home is up around there, somewhere to the east, and it got caught in the deluge.
From what I was told later, it was pretty bad. Tuesday is Garbage Day for us, and everyone had their stuff out, so that ended up all over the streets. The neighbors had up a canopy, and that ended up in our yard–and may have damaged one of the arborvitaes that we use as a natural fence.
But according to the wife and daughter, our big tree, the one at the front of our house, the one that was there, maybe a year old, when we moved in eleven years ago, took two lightning strikes, and went down.
My daughter is pretty upset over what happened. She wanted to know if there was any way it could be saved, even though–from what I understand–half of it came down during the storm. It upset me as well, because . . . well, I get attached to things. Of course there isn’t any way to save it, because it’s been split to hell and gone, and the only thing to do now is cut away what’s left, and have it hauled off.
I have some unusual feelings about this. Like I said, I was upset yesterday. To be honest, I’ve shed more than a few tears over the fact that our tree is no more. You would think people shouldn’t get upset over a tree.
I’m not like most people, in case you hadn’t noticed.
It used to be that, in China, most people thought a dragon lived in every mountain. Here, and a lot of other places, there are many who think of trees as having spirits residing within, entities that are part of the natural order that surrounds us. Now, I’m a rational person; I’m not suppose to believe in spirits in trees. And yet, I can’t help but think the tree was looking out for us . . .
See, it’s wasn’t one of those really tall trees, not like the ones in the back. It was low and very spread out, with thick foliage. On a hot, summer day, it gave great shade, and more than once, when I needed a break from mowing, I’d go lay down in the grass, stare up into its limbs, and gather my thoughts. It was very comforting to be there, feeling cool and relaxed, and I’ve ideas come to me while I was there, gathering my strength.
We watered it in the beginning, pruned it when necessary, and, if I can be so open, showed it a lot of affection. I love having trees around a yard. Every time I see a house go up a property that’s had every tree cut down prior to construction, I want to find the owner and beat them with a lead-filled rubber hose, because they’ve desecrated their land.
This tree was only about as high as my house. The house had as good a chance of taking the strike as the tree–and there were two strikes, from what my daughter said. If the house had been hit, we probably would have lost all the appliances, the daughter’s computer–maybe the place would have caught fire and burnt down. That’s all very possible.
And the tree, or the spirit inside, or both, decided, “I got this. Don’t worry; you’re going to be safe.”
It took the strikes, and died.
Like when The Doctor lost his sonic screwdriver in The Visitation, I feel like I lost an old friend. I’ll go home tomorrow afternoon, and see it lying upon the ground. I’ll be home Friday, and the service will come to remove it, to take it away, where it’ll likely be chopped up into mulch.
But while the service is there, they are going to dig us another hole, a foot or two away from where our tree used to stand. We’ve planted two other trees since moving in, and they’ve grown tall and strong.
We’ll do the same Friday. As soon as everything is clear, we’ll plant another tree, and help it grow, and let it take its place on the corner of the yard where everyone can see it.
I’ll make another friend.
‘Cause that’s just the way I roll.