I gasped when I saw it the first time around. I circled again and there it was – or, I should say, wasn’t. A break in the rhythm of life. A snap in the storm. The heart of an ancient tree exposed. This stately tree, an elm I believe, more than one hundred years old, close to two, I’m sure, had been snapped by the wild, ugly winds on Tuesday night and took a few others down in its fall. I wanted to weep when I saw it, broken and tied with police tape, like a crime scene.
It is sad to see a tree felled by nature or man, isn’t it? I think it cuts to the core for many of us, like losing a trusted old friend.
I stopped to take a few pictures. For what? I don’t know. I just felt I needed to record it somehow. As I stood and clicked from different angles, a few cars stopped, as well as some walkers. Cell phones and iPods and cameras came out. Quietly, as if at a wake or funeral, they paid their respects. It was a sweet moment that probably played out many times over the day. Good folks in the center of a town without electricity, stores and governments buildings closed, the drone of saws and such cleaning debris, and children with parents, a cable company technician, a man in a suit, teenaged boys out for a ride in the car, a young couple and me, all performing last rites for the untimely death of a tree.