I’ve been told the nearly hundred year old tree in my neighbor’s yard may be taken down, reportedly because the township said so. The Township later indicated to me they did not order this old tree to be taken down. That tree was planted by my another neighbor’s father a long time ago and has withstood the wind, hail, snow, and rain. It has hosted birds in its top and cats under its drooping branches. I have sat under it to get relief from the summer sun and clipped a few branches to give a Christmas gift to our homestead.
So it will be taken down. I feel like climbing to the top of its branches or chaining myself to its trunk the day they come to saw it down. It’s probably a losing cause, just as protesting the death of anyone is doomed to fail. The earth gives and it takes away. But this is done by the hands of humans, and I am not at all sure it is done kindly or even with good cause.
I don’t want to be here to watch the tree come down, any more than I want to be with animal companions who must be “put down,” as they call it. I’ve had to say goodbye to the animals I love, but their demises are the actions of kindness, not some township regulation.
I’d like to hold a memorial service for that old tree and thank it for the summer relief and winter greenness it has provided for a century. I will say a few words and keep a moment of silence the day they come to saw it down. I don’t know if the tree will hear, but some trees have more sense and purpose than some people. After all, as the writer Alice Walker has written: “Don’t you know, a tree does everything to get our attention, ‘cept walk?” About these ads
'Keep Calm and Carry On.'
I am a writer and teacher of philosophy who lives in the Greater Philadelphia Area. I love teaching and hanging around students, wrestling with putting words together, enjoying books and animals and my family. And when I can afford it, I love to travel--hence the British advice of "keep calm and carry on." The name Morgan is Welsh and means sea dweller. And when I return to where my ancestors settled centuries ago in a small Welsh village, I feel the connections to them, the earth, to music and poetry, and the sea.
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