Off With It's Head! A Story In (at least) Two Parts
Article ID: 13867
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,211
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Author: Eiris Wyndrose
Posted: November 14th. 2010
Times Viewed: 1,524
"I said, you are about to hurt yourself silly. And don't forget your necklace on the way out."
I turned around, startled
"Huh? What??" I sorta said out loud to the chilly, golden light of the early Spring morning.
I wasn't aware that a tree could sigh and speak in the same moment of time, but I experienced it in this way.
"You're sweet, but go home to your kid and make yourself a nice cuppa joe, cuz It's not gonna happen".
Just then, the 20-year-old, 7 foot tall, Contorted Filbert Tree did its best Guido - "ForGEHT about it".
As my thoughts scrambled to present a solution, it became clearer to me while I dug a radial trench around the drip line. The careful work of my shovel was revealing a 2" thick root system, and I thought, the answer to today's transplant/relocation endeavor might be:
"Damn. You're right. I know you’re probably right. I need to take a break and think about this. I'll be back in an hour. Don't go anywhere..."
"If you say so..."
"Believe you me, when I tell you, I'm not going anywhere today."
Three yellow finches flitted as they merged within the inner canopy of this otherworldly specimen, this magnificent Hazelnut, who's future was on the chopping block of it's existence. The new homeowner's botanical sentiments being, "Curly whatever's just not our thing, ya know? "
No. I didn't "know".
"We want it gone because we are going to put in a fabulous stone stairway from our front door to the sidewalk, and that helps keep the carpets cleaner."
I literally bit my tongue and flinched from the pain.
I needed a quick mantra before my tongue recovered enough for ego to make a bigger mess than this pile of dirt I'd been digging up.
"Focus on the tree, the tree is your focus. Focus on the tree, the tree is your focus."
How do you make it your goal to stay in the good graces of someone you don't agree with or hold respect for?
By remembering they are you. If I pick this battle, I am jousting with an aspect of myself, albeit one I may have grown away from. Somewhere in my shadow is the quality of preferring nice carpets to sacred old growth trees.
Invoke love, not ego's spite - thoughts of being better for experiencing reverence for this living symbol of life's bridge between worlds.
I did some affirmative nodding while projecting a thoughtful countenance and said,
"Yes, yes. Let me see what I can do - the root ball is getting a good soak, so I'll be back in a bit with some help".
I left with my necklace still dangling on one of the tree's lower limbs. Earlier that morning, when I first arrived, I offered my respects and sought the tree's permission for the task at hand, offering a bit of brown bread and ale, and hung my stone on it's branch as a calling card.
Now, I kinda felt silly for the whole thing, because I could have just asked. Who knew? Wood could talk.
When I returned to the site, it was not with help and it was not with cakes and ale and a reverent attitude. I plopped down under the branches atop a large, well established ground root, which had surfaced itself long ago into just the right shape to keep my backside from slipping off down the slight decline of the current landscape. A landscape scheduled, soon, for sheer destruction.
A little flock of purple Crocus shuddered together in unison, causing a usually cheerful patch of Forget Me Nots to worry that their namesake would be for naught.
"Pull up a chair. Talk to me".
Why did I get the feeling I was the one being comforted? I was curious about the calm demeanor emanating from this non-human entity in the face of it's hingey future. I thought about this Filbert Tree being felled for selfish, cosmetic purposes. "..but, you're so beautiful... you're - so beautiful", was all the internal language I could come up with. Could I really get teary over this?
"Hey, I brought espresso, biscotti, pears, and a cheese c.., canna, cannelloni." I said, in a morning-breakfast-picnic-voice. "Would you care for any?"
In the original draft of this writing, the spell checker went off on me as I typed this last line, listing the goodies.
So did the tree, right then. "Holly Saint Julian, no, It's, ... CAHN-uh-LOWWW-nee. Bees-CAA-tee."
"What do you know of St. Julian?" I asked, between cookie bites. And without saying so, I understood the tree to take it's coffee with 4 packs of sugar, and that the Finch Clan would have a bit of the ricotta filling from my pastry-pronunciation-disaster.
"She was a dancer."
Right, no. I was expecting anything but that misinformed answer. But, to remain respectful, here...I responded in the least patronizing tone possible, "Okay, - really? She danced?"
"Yup. That is just exactly what I originally meant to say. She- was- a -dancer. And, she IS the patron Saint of all things Hazel."
Okay. I thought, now I'm talking to a Catholic tree. Maybe the original owners of the property were Italian Roman Catholics, which could then do my needy, pitiful, Gemini mind a favor, and throw me a bone. That info could wrap me up one clean, tidy, logical explanation of this Goodfella sounding Filbert with its East Coast pizza-pie accent.
So I asked. " I was wondering about the other family, if they..."
"Nope. Not even close. And no cigars from Cuba, either. Atheists. They was both of them math teachers, no time for the Who-What-When-Wheres and Whys of
Awesome. At this point, I just wanted to munch on my pear for a minute, and process my head. I flashed to the other night, in my son's room, helping him with his homework.
"Mom, do you hear that?" "Hear What?" I said.
"That really fast piano music, like a chase scene in a cartoon?" He explained. "You don't hear it?" He was asking, worriedly.
I said, "Well....not right this minute, but if you give me a chance I might hear it..."
His eyes started to water up as he asked, "Mom, am I crazy for hearing music by myself?" I said, "Not even a little. I think you are ready for piano lessons, that's all."
I promised him, "Hey, everyone in the world hears someone saying their name just before they doze off. Just ask around. Its very, very, common."
I thought, now would not be the time to share with him about these tree talks. Later, for that. So, I took another bite of pear.
Druid, Hazel, Trees
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Location: 98008, Washington
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