I have lived in the same place for a little over 8 years now and have become strange friends with an unlikely candidate.  A tree.  A dead tree.  She has been dead ever since I knew her.  She used to have a friend, also dead, but years ago the friend fell down and rotted into the fertile soil beneath.

I don't know that I can explain my love of this tree.  I liked how she stood there, strong and defiant.  An old, apparently useless thing; she dared me to love her beauty, to accept her just as she was.  And I did.  Any time I drove back and forth to town, my eyes would light on what I came to think of as my tree.  Just a moment, a brief nod to this steadfast friend.  Part of me always wondering if this would be the time that she would be gone, blown over by the wind or simply having given up and fallen down, roots flailing in the air as sometimes happens.

Recently, construction started in the field nearby and I knew this was my cue.  I pulled my car to the side of the road one sunny day and dashed across traffic then traipsed into the field to capture a picture of my dear, old friend.  I knew that she was not long for this world.  The Mister was more hopeful, but I know the value of a dead tree is little to a business person.  I knew that they would not see my friend as I did.

And, as it turns out, I was right.  Last week I turned the corner that leads to my tree only to find a big, blank space.  No warning.  No formal goodbyes.  Just...gone.  Is it ridiculous to share that I cried?  Perhaps, but I think there is beauty in finding worth in a thing that few others even saw.  I like to think that she loved me too, that silly old tree.  That perhaps I was a touchpoint for her.  Either way, I miss her.  I still find myself seeking her out when I drive past her old home.  I hope that, in her final parting, she remains useful a little while longer - perhaps firewood or carving wood.  So that I can know she continued to suck the marrow out of every moment of both her life as well as her death.


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