Today, the kids and I picked up the last of the pieces of the old tree that we took down just before the ice storm. You might not have any idea how many pieces there are of a huge tree when it hits the ground as hard as this one did. It was no small number.
Rob and his friend cut it down and then my boys: Trent and his best friend Sawyer, think Tom and Huck, cut it up with chain saws in the ice and mess, post storm.
This week as the weather has cleared and warmed a bit, we girls have helped out with the remainder of the breakdown. It has been a long and tedious process, though not unbearable, as one can truly see the progress as one works. Once cut to size for the fireplace, the debris, the seeming trash is transformed.
Rubbish becomes fuel.
I had lots of minutes to think on this as I helped with the fine motor work this afternoon, picking up the tiniest of twigs that would dull and clog the lawnmower. I thought of the things that tree represented: the known, the near, the good. And I thought of the other things it became symbol of as well for me: threat, fear, disaster. It’s funny how the same living thing, infected and infused with death can spread fear to all in its shadow.
In a way, its shade had come to cast its own sweltering hell. It had to come down.
It’s still filling a space, all of its parts stacked where its shadow once stretched out at sundown, headfirst down my bank.
But it is now pared and partialed, joints cut asunder and marrow cracked wide…soon sweet fire will judge what thoughts and intentions surged about its veins, too.