My neighborhood block has untold stories. Maybe this was really one of them…
We were probably going to have to cut it down. The roots were pushing up the land and making it difficult to cultivate. My father said it would make for good firewood in the winter, but he knew my connection and would leave it up to me.
I thought about this. The tree could be reduced to a pile of wood. It would be burned up to keep us warm and then gone forever. After at least a century of survival, its existence would be forgotten in a season. Unless some lucky seed managed to make it’s way far far from here, there wasn’t even a sapling left behind in memory.
Standing under the canopy of this ancient beauty, I could see the narrow ring at its base. It was made by me, of course. Countless times I have walked around her. Sometimes it was a slow, meditative walk; stretching my hand out to allow my fingers to graze the rough bark as I contemplated life and shared my thoughts. Often, when I was younger, I would run around the tree, smiling and giggling and making myself dizzy. I would fall in breathless exhaustion and look up at the sun twinkling through the leaves. I loved the quiet moments of being lulled by the breeze that brushed the twirling leaves together.
This old tree has become my friend and I feel her awareness of my presence. We bring an unspoken joy to one another. I can not allow my friend to die. My friend will remain. She will always be there for me and she will be the one to keep my memory alive long after I am gone.
Photo credit: footage.shutterstock.com