They grace our lives.
Every day the view from my kitchen
Has been of the small universe of the willow where:
The Squirrels of Chaos conduct their nefarious business.
Chickadees hang upside down, like fluttering ornaments.
Raccoons nest within the hollow cavities.
Woodpeckers drill holes in the bark in neat, tidy rows.
Pepe sharpens his claws on the trunk.
Moxie hides behind the tall weeds and ivy that grow around its trunk.
Branches tickle me when I mow the lawn.
How can I say goodbye?
Other hands planted this tree.
Other people cared for it; watered it, trimmed it, enjoyed its shade.
Some are gone now, the tree has stood here around 100 years.
But its days are numbered.
It has been slowly dying for many years.
A massive limb failed last year.
Last week a storm took a large section.
I heard it when it fell.
The time has come.
Thursday, the tree service will take it down.
The massive willow will become a cord of firewood,
Stacked for heating the house next winter.
The yard will seem empty.
A new landscape plan will take shape.
New homes for birds and squirrels will develop,
New games for Moxie and Pepe.
But I will no longer see the willow as I return from my walks.
I will not see its branches welcome me home.
The wind will hold no melody.