I was not going to write here today, for I fear I leave you often overladen with all my words. But we received very sad news last night, and I feel drawn to tell the story of it.
The great pine tree which presides like a king over our neighbourhood is to be cut down.
I understand the reasons why, but this does not ease my shocked grief, or my concern for the tree. It lives behind a neighbour's house, so I don't have any way to reach it, touch it, whisper prayers and perhaps give it some warning of what is to come. The demolition will take all day, says my neighbour. It will be a slow and torturous death for a magnificent being.
When we first moved into this house, the tree gave me consolation, as there is not much nature here, for all that we have a forest and an ocean within walking distance, and for all that the voice of a nearby river, dark and haunted, murmurs all night long - we are immediately surrounded by the concrete pragmatism of suburbia. Because of this, I considered calling our house Pine Star Cottage, and although I chose another name instead, the tree has continued to be beloved to me, its spirit strengthening and encouraging me.
It is the landmark for home, even from miles away. It is shelter for birds, for winds; it draws stories from the river and sheds them into the most beautiful, peaceful sunsets at the end of long summer days. I can imagine the old wisdoms it must share beneath the earth with other, smaller, trees and bushes. I will not be the only one to feel its loss.
I can do nothing to prevent this killing. I can do nothing to ease the tree's passing and the pain I know it will feel. I can only grieve.