Sunday, January 15, 2012

Eulogy



I could say that I recognized you when you were stately and towering.  I could say that I remember your gracious shade and the time a hawk rested regally within your embrace.  I might suggest that the song of the wind was most especially lovely when it played on your leaves, and the late sun’s caress painted your bark with more loving care than it caressed all the others.  I could say that your proud carriage was the standard for all the others in my woods.  But this praise would be more charitable than true, because I rushed past you most days and forgot you were there.  You were so far away and my world was so close to the ground.  You were hidden by two holly trees that sheltered the birds that I fed each winter, and you grew on the edge of the hillside just as it fell away into the weedy and thorny woods.  All that camouflage allowed me to forget you.

Last fall you exhaled with a deep and stunning sigh, and your collapse to the earth, as you leaned for the first and last time, shook my heart.  It was in the dark of night that you tossed your final good-bye.  I was frightened by the seriousness of your death, and even though I could see nothing through the scream of the dark night wind, I knew a hundred years had passed in that moment.

There is more space for the sun to play upon the ground these days.  But even so, the sun caresses the shadows of your trunk as it makes its passage down the river toward the night.  In some strange way you may be lovelier in death.  You lie languorous and liquid as if you were part of some gray river reaching on an unconcerned journey to nowhere.

18 comments:

Brian Miller said...

aww....there are certain trees from my childhood i have certainly mourned as they have been cut down...the light let in is nice but a friend has passed.

Jean said...

My goodness, what an amazing tribute. Beautiful!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

The remains of huge trees in my woods. I wonder if they could talk - what kind of story they would tell.
Love your words...

Mystic Meandering said...

Absolutely beautiful prose... So genuine, so authentic. Really touched my heart. "...an unconcerned journey to nowhere." Wow... Thank you...
Christine

Robert Sobczak said...

It's sad to see a tree go down. A tree can be a gathering spot physically and mentally, some more than others. This one sounded like one of those for sure.

Dave King said...

Spell-binding thoughts. Wonderful post. Thank you.

Shrinky said...

Goodness tabor, what a powerful writer you are, this post is simply magical, I loved every line.

I fancy I might come back one day as a tree, myself (smile)

Granny Annie said...

"I think that I shall never see......."

SueAnn said...

I too have mourned trees, flowers and bushes that have died. Tis so sad! They will be missed.
Hugs
SueAnn

Mage said...

Lovely, thank you.

Pauline said...

an absolutely wonderful piece of writing and a perfect tribute for a gentle giant

Linda said...

I always have a difficult time deciding if it's the pictures, the topics or the words that keep me coming here? No Tabor, it's you! You are a very special lady.

I have a book about Old Growth Trees in Ontario and the author claims that tree trunks are more alive after the tree dies. The trunk becomes a home to many kinds of living creatures.

I am sorry about your tree. Thank you for sharing the news and the tribute. xoxo

Peruby said...

I think Granny Annie and I are on the same wavelength.

Very nice channeling of Mr. Kilmer, I dare say. :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, I always hate to see trees come down, especially when they are deliberately cut down. I read a blog recently about some mountain land in North Carolina which had been sold.. They were bull-dozing all of the gorgeous trees... Just broke my heart...

I also read about a 4500 yr old tree in Florida which burned recently... That made me cry...

Great tribute to your wonderful old tree.
Hugs,
Betsy

Judy (kenju) said...

You have the soul of a poet. That was beautiful.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Aren't you tempted to make firewood, though? (Yes, I know, many people have told me I have no soul! But I am practical...)

kerrdelune said...

A sad thing when such a noble being comes to earth... These are beautiful words in the tree's honor, Tabor, and your deep affection for your old friend sings in every syllable.

Angie said...

This is just BEAUTIFUL, Tabor