Monday, June 30, 2008

Arbor Day

I am the tree in your neighbor’s courtyard. I hang over into your courtyard with the imposing and un-apologetic-right-to-be-here only surpassed by teenagers at a mall, all in your face, talking on the phone assuming the world wants to hear what should be a private conversation.

I am here. I will drop non human edible cherries on the courtyard, staining the brickwork, tripping you up if you don’t notice another cherry has fallen and you roll just a little with the momentary loss of footing. I laugh a little when that happens. Not because I want you to fall, but because I want to be noticed. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

Then, I laugh even harder when, amongst my many branches, a squirrel takes a bite of the non human edible cherries and drops the un-wanted portion on you as you eat your human food while sunning in the courtyard. Yes, this makes me laugh and smile and take full enjoyment of the interconnection of us all. Me, the squirrel, the sun, and you. We are all in sync, laughing, loving and doing what we do best.

But, I remember when the rains and winds came in a couple months ago. There was so much moisture in my spring foliage that a couple of my branches gave way, and fell into your courtyard. Nothing and no one other than me was harmed in this situation. And I had plenty of back up branches, so even I didn’t morn the loss. It was simply a chance to downsize a little. This allowed more wood for your wood stack and more light to come into the courtyard.

Your neighbor said that she would have a professional group come in to trim the rest of me once the arborists had time for non emergency tree trimming.

Well, today, the professional came and now you are sad. You are sad because what use to be a home for birds and squirrels, blocked so much sun that tomato plants wouldn’t bear fruit and instead bore non edible cherries that shed itself in a raking mess, won’t be doing that for a long time. All my branches have been cut 6 feet. I look sick. I look like the people who have gone on radical diets or had their stomachs stapled and now look unhealthier than they did when they were clearly overweight. So – it seems with tree pruning, as well as dieting; very few know the benefits of moderation.

You tell me you regret having ever thought or expressed one complaint about me, for I am now a eunuch, without strength or power to guard. I am home to no birds, no squirrels and no shade.

The only saving grace is, similar to most people who have lap band surgery, my virility, my passion, my appetite isn’t really measured by my girth, but by my heart. I look forward to the day I am an imposing being again; the day of joy when the squirrel once again drops cherries on your head. I know you look forward to that, too.