I said goodbye to two beings today. I am not sure I could call them friends. They were neighbors. I didn’t know them well. I watched them from my apartment window and said hello from time to time. I noticed how they changed over the nearly two years I have been living here. I worried for them. I admired them. I wondered about them, the things they had seen and stories they could tell if we spoke the same language.
I said goodbye to two trees today.
Was I the only one who said goodbye?
I walked up to each space where once stood a tall tree. I kneeled down, kissed the tips of my fingers, and touched them gently onto the flat space where a trunk once stood.
I wished them peace.
It can’t be easy being a city tree.
They were not healthy trees. Their bark was peeling and rife with fungus and lichen, signs of stress and disease.
It was my fault they were cut down. A year ago, a storm brought down branches on my car, and ever since I had been battling for the property owner to trim back the branches. In the end, they chose to take both trees.
A friend told me the trees were unhealthy and unhappy. Part of me believed him, yet part of me felt guilty and sad.
No more will Cooper’s Hawk and Red-tails perch on their branches.
No more starlings, no more squirrels, the closest I get these days to wildlife viewing.
But life goes on. When the spring arrives, new growth will stem. Perhaps, I will find a wee sprout and place it in a planter where it will be safe and able to take root. And then someday, I will plant it somewhere it will be free to grow on its own terms.
Goodbye, dear tree friends. I will miss you. Be at peace.