White Dog sat in the window and watched the proceedings across the street with increasing sadness. Early this morning she, YoYoMa and Puff barked their "go away" song as a young man climbed out of his truck, walked around the old stately tree a couple of times and then scaled it.
Before long he came down and began unloading ropes and a tool belt and a chain saw. Another man arrived. White Dog looked at Steve who suggested maybe the lovely green haired dowager of a tree was going to get some pruning. The trunk over the decades of its existence had taken on a languid sultry curve and was more than 150" around near its base.
This tree has special significance to White Dog and I as it was one of the first images that I painted and added words to the canvas. WD and I loved watching her change moods across the season and loved her best in the winter when she seemed sleek and fiercely lovely. And yes, that IS bark from a fallen branch from the very tree pictured.
By mid-day it was clear that our tree friend was not being pruned...she was being cut to pieces. She was not diseased and removing the dead limbs would have been relatively easy. But she had spread and her toes were now pushing at the new neighbor's driveway causing the concrete to heave; this was the reason for her death sentence.
We live in the droughted desert and a tree like this will never grow on our block again. Times have changed; tastes have changed; our environment has changed (it is far too polluted and dry for such stately long investment growth).
We spent the afternoon mourning the loss and hoping that Ents understand the cycle of life--often foolishly sped up by humans. As her sheltering canopy was removed the roof of the house glinted in the sunlight. "They are going to be sorry for the loss of shade," Steve commented. "Their cooling costs are going to soar."
And finally it was done. She is a scatter of sawed chunks and a stump. White Dog and I went out on the sunporch at dusk to pay final respects. We needed to be alone and the others seemed to understand.
The Little White Dog of My Heart and I lit a candle, together read Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree...and then White Dog let me cry softly into her fur.