The end came suddenly. Unexpected.
The morning began with a thunderstorm. Wind tested the flex of the branches while fat raindrops washed bits of dust and pollution from the leaves. The violence passed and left a light, nourishing rain in its wake. But one large limb, a third of the bulk, lay prone, leafy branches mere steps from the building.
The remainder of the tree stood tall then, the top taller than the two story building it guarded. You could imagine it sighing, welcoming the overdue moisture to roots. Welcoming damp against the fresh wound. Perhaps dreaming of the children it had watched and sheltered during the years. They chased each other around the expanding trunk. Played in the deep red fall leaves. And laughed as the white blossoms fell like snow in the spring.
The truck and trailer arrived out of the misty rain. Two men exited the cab and donned hard hats. Then they grabbed the chainsaws and readied for the attack.
Within minutes proud branches lay sprawled across a patch of lawn, sidewalk and into the parking lot. The men cut with surgical precision before lifting the tree, portion by portion, into the hungry wood chipper. They were tidy and efficient. All that remains now is a memory and a marker (temporary until men return with a grinder).
No wind damage in the apple orchard. Check out Hiding Places to find Linc and Mona’s story. Available as ebook or paperback from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.