He arrived to trim the giant blue spruce in front of my house. He must have been an arborist, a ‘professional man’ as my mother might say. I was at some higher vantage point, my mind engaged elsewhere. I think I was on the roof. Why was I on the roof?
He cut and cut; I didn’t oversee. He was a professional. I trusted him. Finally, he called to me that he was done. I turned to look. In the place where this mighty spruce once stood, there was now only a skeleton. Just random branches jutting up and outwards – the structure and purpose, its very essence and meaning, gone. It was a mortal blow to my being.
“What have you done?!” I cried out, my own spirit wounded in the worst possible way. He came up to where I was, trying to explain that it was better this way, allowed more air in, was safer for the house, or whatever lame explanations the stupid man gave. Better for whom?? Better for the tree? Or better for you, with your misguided fears and twisted sensibilities. What could be done, though? It was too late. Nothing could be fixed or taken back. No action could now be reversed. It was over. It was done. All that remained was great remorse and unending sorrow.
I awoke feeling as though my heart had been torn out, with a terrible unearthly sadness left in its place. I ran in my pajamas out to the frigid porch, to the side door nearest the tree, and pressed my forehead to the cold glass. The blue spruce stood there, tall and proud, unscathed. I was filled with profound relief and a quiet joy. The rising sun on the watery horizon heralded a new dawn, new hope, a clean slate. The tree was full, all its heavy branches resting quietly in the morning chill, birds asleep peacefully in its protective arms. In these harsh New England winters, they rely on this tree, and I rely on them – as an eternal promise that all pain is but temporary, that the sun will shine again.
My face was wet with tears. It had just been a terrible dream. All was well.share this: