Monday, April 13, 2009
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?