Sunday, January 20, 2013
The Pines of Home
I have never felt this way about a tree before. I remember so vividly the arbor day that Ben came home from third grade with a little stick of a pine tree that he was instructed to plant. We found a place in our front yard that wouldn't interfere with the various gas and plumbing lines in the ground. We protected the little tree in the winter, and we mowed around it in the summer, and it grew into a marvelous tree that shaded the house, dropped pine cones, and even hosted a nest or two for birds. My greatest worry this past spring was that its branches would reach out into the street, and that we would have to give it a trim. Our neighbors, who knew the arbor day ritual well, thought our tree was too big for the house, but Michael and I were proud of it, and have always been excited to watch it grow and thrive.
Here it is, bravely making it through one of the ice storms of 2011:
Then we had a summer drought that killed pine trees all over town. It even killed pine trees in the yards of people who took meticulous care of their gardens. Our white pine seemed to remain alive through the summer, and though it did have a few brown needles in the fall that remained into December, Michael and I thought that it was just part of the growing process.
We were in denial. Our tree is no longer alive. We are going to have to cut it down.