A few months ago, the wind snapped off a small rotting tree and dropped it on top of my maple tree. It was causing the maple to lean, and I was concerned that it would cause it to be permanently damaged. I tried cutting a chunk off the bottom, but it was still too heavy to move. I tried wedging it against the big gum tree to get it to fall, but it was so entangled in the top of the maple that it would not come down. This weekend my neighbor Scott came over and I cut four sections letting it drop each time. At this point a smaller part of the trunk was still hanging in the maple tree. We both got hold of it and with some effort were able to drag it down and cut it up.
It was a warm Sunday afternoon. Jim took a small hand-ax with him as he climbed the ridge behind her farm. They had been friends since primary school, but now, seven years later she had broken his heart. Tommy Butler beat him to the draw, asking Julie Anne to the middle school dance… and she said yes.
With all his strength he chopped at the initials carved into the side of the tall sugar maple. He carved them there when he was thirteen. Now it was a bleeding scar where a heart of love once lived.
When Jim, told George what he had done, a smile crossed his wise old, wrinkled face.
“When I was your age, I had a girl who broke my heart as well. She played with my heart, then ‘she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar’. It still hurts.”
This is the first time in ten years that we have done all the decorating ourselves. The grandchildren not have other pursuits and are grown and busy, so we spent the morning digging up memories as we sorted through our tub of ornaments from my school children of past years and of friends and co-workers. It was fun to revisit each one again and try to recall who gave them to us or where we purchased them.
Today at d’Verse, Sarah asked us to write a poem from Greek Mythology that included some aspect of Persephone and her comings and goings to Hades in the underworld. The myth is that when she comes she brings spring and summer for six months, but when she goes, everything dies and remains so for six months. I thought trees are a great way to illustrate that by observing their rings.
I loved taking the maul and lifting it back over my head, bring it down hard enough to make the wood fly in both directions. I split my own firewood for many years, until one day I ended up with two ruptured discs. We had a fireplace insert wood stove that provide a lot of good heat from that wood. It is true what they say, “When you split your own wood, it warms your twice!” After my back surgery, I got smart and purchased a used wood splitter which saved my back and worked very well.
Cutting through the tree trunks with a chainsaw was exciting to me. I never knew what I would fine inside. Narrow rings and wide rings revealed dry years and wet years. Counting the rings gave me an idea how old the tree might be. Sometimes there were hollow rotten spaces, filled with termites or ants, that showed the tree was not in the best of health. Wood is a great renewable resource, when trees are replanted and managed for the future.