I did not feel well yesterday, and when a teacher does not feel well, that’s not good. I came home and went to bed. I took two Motrin, crawled under the covers, and fell fast asleep. I could have slept much longer had it not been for the stump grinder coming to finish off the tree. We lost that tree this past June, a week after the arborists came for that tree, B’s dad passed away. He was a sturdy as a tree and he’s been on my mind ever since. The stump grinder coming to finish it off was just another step in the circle of life.
I have been thinking about that tree and all of the trees we’ve lost to Emerald Ash Borer. But, I’ve had more on my mind that just trees, I’ve been thinking of the poem, “Trees,” and its poet – Joyce Kilmer. Sgt. Kilmer was killed in the Second Battle of the Marne on July 30, 1918 and is buried at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in northern France. His cross is one of over 6000 American soldiers buried in the cemetery and one of the more than 35,000 American soldiers and marines buried or lost from World War I and remembered in American Military Cemeteries in France and Belgium. America lost more than 100,000 soldiers in World War I, but our sacrifice pales in comparison to numbers of young men and women from across the Europe lost in the trenches and battles between September 1914 and November 1918. Over 5 million soldiers were lost in World War I – a staggering number. Sgt. Kilmer was just one of those who gave their lives so that others might live.
I do not think there’s anything lovelier than a tree. It is that time of the year, the trees are turning and some are quite spectacular.
I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918)
Over the course of the next month, we’ll be raking leaves and preparing for another step in the seasons of life – winter. I’ll be thinking of trees in a different way, but I don’t think there is anything lovelier than a tree.
It’s the second day of October and I feel a little better. Half of my science students are building a chair and the other half are beginning their science fair research today. Some things are unavoidable. Learning and Teaching. It’s going to be a great day but I’ll keep the tree in the back of my mind, and my father-in-law, too. Some things are inevitable, that’s why I work to make the days count. Every day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one step forward, sometimes backwards or sideways, but always moving.
What’s on your mind today?
6 thoughts on “Death of a Tree – the FINAL CHAPTER”
Trees.. how I love them so much. In my neighborhood we seem to be blessed by the Palm trees — not the same as the oak I was used to back East — but trees, no matter the kind, are lovely. Beautiful poem — wonderful post. Hope you are feeling better by now!
Carmen thank you for stopping by. I’ve been busy and haven’t written or read as much as I would have preferred. When the stump grinder came to finish the deed – I felt compelled to finish the story, too. trees are beautiful and true work of God, in fact everything around us is a mystery how it all works. I think that is what Kilmer was trying to tell us.. right now the trees are turning – two maples in my yard are turning a impressive shade of bright red-orange.. it’s a late fall for turning leaves. palm trees are a beautiful in their own way… enjoy the fall and have a great week.
Trees this time of year are my very favorite. Orange, red, yellow -as I understand it those are the ‘real’ colors. Sorry about your lovely tree -maybe you can plant a new one there.
Glad you are feeling better, too!
It’s very pretty here this morning – I can see out across the street to the neighbor’s yard and the lawn’s greener – a dark green that comes in early fall… their maple tree is beginning to turn into a beautiful red… there is nothing lovelier than a tree, especially at this time of the year. Thank you for stopping in and have a wonderful week!
Like you, I love that poem. But most of all, I hope you’re feeling better, and I love the way you’ve made a memorial to your tree!
Thank you. I am feeling much better today. It was a beautiful day yesterday and I spent most of it asleep or in a daze. The utility companies came out before the stump grinder to make sure no electrical or gas lines ran under the stump and each utility marked the stump o.k. with their designated color – yellow for gas, orange for electric, and blue for water – meaning there was no danger in grinding the stump. But there was nothing o.k. about that stump. The grinder got the rest of the stumps in the neighborhood and the piles of grindings were much more noticeable than the stumps… sad. There is nothing as lovely as a tree… have a great weekend.