Saturday, October 29, 2011

brighter and bleaker

The tree beside our house is being cut down.

It's a huge fir, 30 years old, and not in enough soil to hold it. If it fell, which my neighbour is assured it will, chances are it will crash into my bedroom or hers. So. Down it comes. Our neighbours on the other side are happy - she's a sun worshipper, and is excited at the thought of how much more light their garden will get.

We will too. And of course, not being crushed in your bed is always a good thing.

But the kids loved it, and spend many happy hours playing beneath it's branches, digging in the needle carpet and hiding around it. Olivia ran to her room when she heard of its sentence, and sobbed that everything she loved goes...

I'm finding it hard to watch. The kids are interested. I just have this sneaking feeling that we underestimate trees, maybe, and seeing it stripped of its branches, chainsaws swiping great scars and gashes in the the bark... it's like Aslan's table and the witch's ritual humiliation of him, and torturous too. It feels like a desecration. It feels like an ugly murder that I've stood by and watched.

I wish I had the money to put something else wonderful there instead. A swing set, a little house. A well grown tree? Olivia suggested a hot tub, which is a fucking fantastic idea but one beyond our means, sadly. I told my neighbour, and she said she did once look into the idea of finding one that didn't use too much energy - and discovered one that went all day on a bale of briquettes! Which is pretty fantastic. But I think the days of hot tubs in Ireland are over for now.

Outside it's bright, and empty, bleak feeling. It doesn't help that it's a grey, drizzly day. I can hear the chainsaws drone, I can see the Bray Head from my window now. I finally got my view.


Ms. Moon said...

It IS hard to see a full-grown tree go. Who made the determination that there wasn't enough soil?
Well, neither here nor there at this point.
Start a new tree. A smaller one. One that the children can think of as their own. A sort of stationary pet, as it were.

Jo said...

I hope we'll be able to do that. two separate tree expert type people both said it was dangerous. So, well... she had to go with that.

Jo said...

You can see to the right of it how the roots had already knocked sown our wall, as well.

Craig Sorensen said...

I had a big old maple in my back yard that I had to take down a few years ago; it clearly was not healthy.

The neighborhood I live in has had a number of trees come down since we moved in 16 years ago as well.

Sometimes they have to come down, but it's always sad, for me, when I look at the spot in the sky where they once were.

Annah said...

I remember a few years ago, my parents cut down a dying tree in our garden when we were away in Australia and my boys were devastated when they heard about it. When we returned we had a ceremony and tied ribbons around the base which are still there 6 years later! Kids thanked the tree for everything it had given them, so sweet. They still talk about it to this day!

Janine Ashbless said...

Try replanting with a small apple cultivar that produces nice bright edible fruit. You can get them pretty much any size that'll suit.

Jo said...

Yes Craig - though, I have to admit, we got to see the sunrise for the first time this morning, and it was beautiful. I can embrace my view of the hills, I confess.

Annah, that's lovely. I think it's good to acknowlege how we feel about trees.

Janine: nice idea. Will suggest it to my neighbour.