This was the way my garden looked last summer, and the summer before that. The big wild black cherry tree that sat in my backyard for as long as I’ve lived there reached out its branches to shade my Rhododendron and lent a branch to hold up a lantern or two as well. But last Saturday, the fine balance of tree and yard came to an end when during the freak October snowstorm, the mighty tree fell, right before my eyes. I was sitting at my window talking to a friend, commenting on how I hoped the snow on the tree still laden with leaves, wouldn’t break any branches, when I saw the tree fall over. It seemed to fall in slow motion and barely made a sound. I couldn’t believe it! It totally up-routed itself, taking along my deck and fence and laying to rest across three other building yards. I am thankful that no one was outside when it fell and it did not fall onto any buildings.
However, I am saddened by the loss of this great tree. The tree man who came to assess the damage told me that probably no one planted it, that most likely it just grew on its own. It stood for well over the 30 years that I had come to know it. It was witness to many a garden party and evening gathering.
So what did I learn from this experience? Nothing is permanent. There is a fine balance in life which sometimes tips one way or the other. We can’t always be prepared for the tip, but we can learn to re-set the balance. My deck will be rebuilt (hopefully insurance will help with that), and it will probably feel a bit more spacious and be sunnier. I may even be able to plant those flowers that never would grow before because they needed more sun. But still, I will miss that great old tree.