Dear Tree ...
We only knew you for a little over 8 months but you were the first thing we saw out of our window every morning. First you were summer-green and leafy, then you dressed in golden colors for Fall. And then winter arrived and stripped you bare and covered your base in ice and snow. The long cold weeks took their toll and the melting snow uncovered the cracking and rotting which made you even more dangerous than your height or the fact that you grew so close to our house, or that you had split yourself into four long stems, all of which made you very likely to topple in a high wind. But four like the number of our family.
You've stood here for years, before this house was built. You watched another family grow their boys from small to big, watched them leave the house to marry and move across the country. Watched their parents grow old and love this house and eventually have to say goodbye. Watched a new family move in. A family who had waited a long time to have a home. A family with noise and energy and lots of running and laughter. Two little ones who loved your shade for the slippery-slide on a hot summer day. A man who fell in love with the house mainly because of you standing beside it.
Today we said goodbye to your beautiful big branches and watched you slowly falling, piece by piece. They were gentle with you, the tree service men. They took their time as they climbed you, and secured each piece of you as it came down. We watched in silence from the house, and felt the sadness weighing. It's quite a responsibility to decide the fate of another living thing, to bring you down before nature was quite done. I wonder how people live with cutting down entire rainforests.
Last night I had a dream. I was walking in a sunny forest and it was home, South Africa. But then all of a sudden you were there in my dream, a clearing with light flooding in. There you stood, dear Tree, and i walked up to you and touched your bark and we talked about what today would bring. I told you how sad i was to have to do this, but that i have to put the safety of the little people in my house over and above your beauty. And in my dream you quietly told me you understood. It was a lovely dream dear Tree.
Tonight as your branches lie in pieces stacked a little violently across the lawn, and a huge pile of woodchips from your branches lies waiting to be moved, just remember that you will live on in a new vegetable garden, and in the woodland carpet of a fairy garden-playplace we'll be building for our little princess when the snow melts.