May 17, 2015

The loss of a tree

I was lying in my bed hearing the chain saw do it’s work. Waiting for it. And there it was. The thud. When the birch fell. I could feel it in my body. My heart sank.

- I would need to cut down that birch, I can’t get around it with my equipment.
It was Sören, ringing on my door bell. Still early morning and Josephine was here to help me to the bathroom. Sören is my leaseholder, taking care of a part of the fields on my property, some of them right next to my place. 
For the last 20 years or so those fields next to me have been lying fallow (is that the right expression?) becoming beautiful meadows which I enjoy a lot. This year though, Sören is going to sow grain on those fields. And I like it! When I grew up I loved the barley changing to yellow in the fall, hearing the grain in them rattle in the wind. And the idea of the fields actually being cultivated again feels good. My grand parents would have appreciated that. And it makes my place more alive. However, this comes with Sören having to use more equipment than he normally does. And being more frequent. 
At the northwest corner of my house is an old birch, guarding the back of it. It stands at the corner of the grove between me and my neighbor, the tallest tree, the pole finishing the grove, defining it, looking out over the fields to the west. I love that birch. The early summer greenery backlit from the sun when it’s about to set in the northwest. My friend listening to my evening balcony summer concerts.
There is a thing with me and trees. And I know I am not alone when it comes to this, that’s a comfort. These last few years I have been forced to cut down some of those on my yard. The mountain ashes in row my grand father planted next to the baker’s cottage protecting the front yard from the wind, are falling down from age. I just’ can’t take all of them out at the same time, only one per year. And I need to prepare myself rigorously. Imagining my little kingdom without it. Touching the emptiness. Letting my body sense it. And then let it happen. Standing there watching it. Being present. Being there in the life changing moment. Over dramatic? That’s not how it feels.
I do wish I wasn’t so damned sensitive. I so envy people who aren’t affected by whatever brings me out of balance. Those people who kind of just shrugs everything off. More like dogs. A shrug, and it’s gone. Or, not even a shrug. Just a yep. Moving on. God how I wish I was built that way. But no. Grandpa’s mountain ashes, the big bird cherry tree. The gorgeous maple me and Trouble & Trouble’s dad planted when the boys were babies, which caught a decease and died on me. They are all leaving empty spaces in me and in my kingdom. Scares.
This morning I woke up having no clue that 30 minutes later my birch would be executed. The thud. That sound. Me not even out of bed, listening to it. I had half an hour to prepare. Me, who needs half a year.
It’s not Sören’s fault. He is just doing what needs to be done to take care of my fields. And of course he doesn’t know I am a HSP and he should have started talking to me about this years ago. He is a good person.
I am trying to find the right words for what it feels like standing on the balcony looking out on… nothing. Nothing there. Just an… area. Like a hole in the universe. Stretching into me. I am lying on my couch, the balcony door open in the calm and sunny evening. Birds singing. And I can feel through the walls of my northwest corner which I am facing, that we are unprotected. The house and I. We are vulnerable.
The dying trees has to go. And when something dies, in the best cases something is also born. But this corner pole birch was brutally killed on a Saturday morning while I was still in bed. It, and I, wasn’t ready for this. And I can’t let a new tree grow there because it won’t work for Sören. I can’t put a stone there to mark the corner. Now, it will really be a challenge coming up with a different perspective. Making a shift in perceiving these grounds. But I have to. And I will. For now though, just let me grieve a while.

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