Thursday, July 17, 2008

Maple By My Side

I felt like an old friend was dying, almost dead actually. And I felt vulnerable and isolated, without the partner I'd grown up with. There were large Douglas Firs nearby that I'd planted as a kid in a Christmas Tree money making venture that never came to pass. They didn't grow fast enough. Plus, Joe Browns cows did a number of them in. But those tree, though big now, never evoked the emotion the old tree did when I returned as a college graduate many years later and went there, to say here I am, and it was dying, split, limbs already dropped, huge ones, and the little bugs and insects of the field were now in it as their home. Its funny, but after that visit, I rarely took that trail again. Except once, to see if it was all gone, and it mostly was. From this age now, I look back and realize how incredibly fast its demise was, maybe fifteen years from giant to compost. The interaction of course during that time is that I'd grown from an eight year old to a thirty year old. During that span of time, the large things of childhood often shrink to adult size. But the feeling of loss has never shrunk. I still miss the feeling of sitting by that tree, it's uncomfortable deeply furrowed bark digging in my back, looking down at the valleys, the town, the houses of families of many kind going about their business, the incredible summer clouds moving across the blue screen of that vast central new york sky. Maybe that's what home was to me. That feeling, more than that tree. I don't know. It still all seems like one. I can't conjure up the feeling of home without the maple by my side. I can't believe it's gone.

Written in class, July 16, '08

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