You were always there, standing tall when I was rushing around, going here and there. Sometimes I forgot to look at you, but you stayed the same, ready to be noticed but unaffected if you weren’t. When I sat down with my tea most mornings, there you were, and then we faced each other.
You marked the seasons for me – each arresting in their own way – a waiting period, a space of promise, a celebration time, and then days of beautiful, colourful reflection. Up to last year, you had someone to care for you, to rake up the dead leaves and clear the stage for more. He’s gone now – another of my beloved daily companions.
Maybe that’s why they did it. If I had been here when they came, I think I would have stood in front of that chain-saw and pleaded for you. You looked healthy to me – your leaves were as luscious as ever. You were too small for your roots to be a problem. Maybe they pushed his widow into it, or maybe she was worried about the raking. But I would have done that, even on my weakest day, if it had meant you’d still be here.
What am I to look at now that you’re gone? What is going to remind me that troubles come and go but that some things never change?
I’ll have to plant one in my own garden, and hope that the lonely widow sees it and gets some of the comfort that you gave to me, my reassuring tree.