Monday, April 13, 2009

George Washington



Ok, so it's really Thomas Jefferson's 266th birthday, but I could not miss the reference to old George chopping down the cherry tree. I think there is some speculation on whether the story is even real, but it sure captured a young man's imagination.

Arriving at my parents house this weekend, for Easter, we rounded the corner passed the family cemetery and were met by pieces of tree almost as round as our car. The old tree on the corner had met its demise. It had been coming for some time, but watching a friend go slowly into the night is never easy. Last year a large limb (read at least a foot diameter) had fallen off, and with numerous grand kids running around, my parents had decided it was better to take it down than have it fall on someone.

Over 100 years of memories imbued within it's rings, it massive trunk grew to over 5 foot in diameter. The boys were fascinated as the chainsaws and stump grinders, dismantled the giant. Nestled within its body, we found the culprits of its manslaughter. A hive of bees over 4 feet long had cut off the life giving flow of water from the ground. A three inch grub worm poked its head out of another log to point its finger and decry guilty. After two days, all that was left was the sawdust stain and outline where the body once laid.

It was not the storms it stood through or even old age that felled our friend, but what grew within. Unseen, unchecked, it slowly drained the life, until it could stand it no more. If only it could have spoken, shared its inward struggle, it may have survived. Stoic and silent, it marched toward death. How many others will share its fate?

12 comments:

Dot-Com said...

The pictures are back :-) Yah!

Brian Miller said...

lol. yay, indeed!

Mom said...

You were right. Your blog brought tears to my eyes this morning. The demise of an old friend doesn't say it all when you think that the tree was a part of the lives of at least 5 generations of our family. What it could tell us about those that have gone before us -- good and bad, happy and sad, oh my!!! I think the maple tree had a message for all of our family. It had scars, scrapes, and holes on the outside just as we do, but it was the inside that caused the decay. God doesn't look at the outside, but the decay on the inside can take us away from Him. We don't have to be chopped down, but can be cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus. May God bless our family, friends, and your readers through the story of the maple tree.

Daniel said...

Awesome thought for today (and everyday). Thanks for the posting.

Lynn Ellen McCutchen Thompson said...

You are quite a writer! Enjoyed the blog about the tree. I know it is really a loss for the Murray/Williams/Miller family.

Lynn Ellen McCutchen Thompson

Baino said...

Old friends indeed, my block is covered with huge gum trees that would have seen colonisation and before. One in the front yard is being strangled by a Wysteria that my mother planted 20 years ago but according to the"Tree Doctor" it's reaching the end of it's cycle. I'm loathe to cut it down.Plant a new one in its place, from fallen acorns mighty oak trees grow!

Anonymous said...

That makes me incredibly, incredibly sad. I lost half of my left front tooth beside that tree. Everything changes then it changes again. Great post, Bro.

-DF

Tristan and Crikey said...

We're sad that the tree was damaged by those bad bugs! We bet that many a kitty enjoyed climbing the majestic limbs.

Mrsupole said...

I am so loving these comments here. I love your Mom's so much. Trees give us life in so many ways. So it is always sad when one goes. I could go on about the loss of our Rain Forests but will not. If you ever get to Northern California there is a tree you can drive a car through. The redwoods are the most awesome trees to see. Down here in So. CA we do not have that, so any old tree here is special. A 100 ft tree would be something. When I go to an area with trees I am so in awe of them. Sad thing about your tree being destroyed from the inside, the bark beetle is killing our forest trees in our mountains. So, so sad, because we need the trees for the air we breathe. I love trees. And as Baino said, I wonder what some of them have seen, oh if the trees could talk. Maybe I will do a poem about that one too. Oh did I say I love trees.

God bless.

subtorp77 said...

Now you've got me thinkin, if they ever cut down that massive maple (this thing was over 300 years old ). I can just imagine the stories it contained. Wonder if it's still there? Short road-trip....

Ronda Laveen said...

Yes, the tree you can drive through, I believe it is a redwood, is a must see. Mind boggling.
What kind of a tree was yours? Tell me about it. Let us start the story it would tell. How did it get there. When was it a seedling? Here in Cali, a tree that large would be an oak or a Redwood.

Brian Miller said...

t'was a maple. as far as how it got there, i don't know. a gravel drive passes between it and the cemetary. it probably watched most of the people end up there.