Guest Post: Losing an old friend growing in the front yard
By Charlene Lepant
Today I lost an old friend that I have known for the past 17 years. You brought me lots of wonderful moments in my life. You sheltered me from the sun and kept me cool on hot summer days. You provided me with oxygen to breath and a place to find rest. You gave home to many creatures. Birds perched in your arms during the day. You became a bridge by which squirrels would cross from tree to tree. You gave me privacy and a sense of sanctuary from what often seems like a ugly, cruel world. You did nothing to hurt me and yet I repaid you with your death. I wished that I could have saved you, but through the years you began to deteriorate. First your crown became thin and lots of your skin fell off. Yes, I killed a special friend today. Your neighbors no longer have protection from the intense sun and the creatures are exposed to the elements and to the hawks that search for a meal up high. I am sorry I could not save you. You see, someone decided that it was okay to pile dirt upon your feet and bury the top of your feet with a cloth so water would not penetrate. They decided that they would build a wall around you of stones to make you look pretty, but instead trapped your and made your life supports wrap around your trunk and strangle you. How could you possibly survive such conditions for so long is beyond me. Each year, I convinced my husband to let you live one more year until at last your limbs began to drop. I cried in front of grown men today as I watched them taking you apart in two hours after taking so many years to grow so big. Thank you for giving me such pleasure. I enjoyed watching your covering change color each fall and watch with great anticipation as you grew new clothes to wear each spring. Your creature friends are going to miss you, but I am going to miss you more.I promise you that your death will not be in vain, for I will tell others that they need to understand that someone like you needs a special location where you will not be in the way. Your kind needs space to grow and no carpeting on top of your feet. You need strong flares to support you and they should not be buried under fancy ground covers or grass. I will be here to help others understand that friends like you will start out small and one day become big. If they will take care of you from the very beginning and not top you or remove your limbs incorrectly, you will be around for a very long time. I am sorry old friend, but maybe someone else will listen and learn because of your death.