If my eyesight was any blurrier, or if we were still in the dead of winter, I could almost convince myself it is snowing outside my office window. But, as it is, here in the late-ish of Spring and wearing my Dollar Store reading glasses, I can see clearly it that is not snow. The other dead giveaway is the presence of chainsaws and hard hat wearing men swarming my side yard. The snow that I am seeing is actually saw dust that is raining down from near the top of my walnut tree. Ultimately, the whole tree will be dismantled. By the end of the day, all that will be left is a stump where my once glorious old black walnut tree stood.
As they walk by my kitchen window with the fallen branches, it breaks my heart. Some of the cuts reveal branches so full of life that they look like they could bleed. Other branches reveal the painful truth – the tree was dying from the inside out. My beautiful old tree was sick and dying, and it had to come down. To my inexperienced eye, it looked like it could have lasted another few years. To my landlord’s eye, it was a risk to their property, and thus to their investment and source of income. It had to come down.
I opted to stay home from work today to bear witness to the falling of this great tree. I’ve loved this tree for many years – even before I lived in this house. When I lived just down the hill, I could see this tree from my bedroom window when I was lying in bed. No matter what the weather was like, I could always count on this tree to tell me the season. After a long barren winter, I could always look forward to the first buds on the ol’ walnut tree, and before I would know it, Spring was here. And it was always on time. It wasn’t one of those trees that could get faked out by a dry, warm winter. This tree had seen it all before.
I can now see my shade starting to disappear. They’ve made quite a dent on the upper branches. The tree guys probably think I’m being a nosey old biddy peeking out my window to watch them work. It’s not that I don’t trust them. They seem very competent and strong. I just feel like I’m at the bedside of an old friend as he’s dying. There’s nothing else I can do but watch and document, and pay homage to a great old tree.