There was a distant hum in my brain, but I subconsciously dismissed it, put it down to more building work close by. The drone continued, finally pushed its way into my conscious mind which lead me over to the glass door to look out onto that all too familiar and never tiresome vista of sloping lawn and far off sea, with that exquisite Coral tree standing proudly between the two.
It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I wanted to cry and scream simultaneously.
Limbs were scattered carelessly, thoughtlessly across the lawn. Three men stared blankly at the fourth as he angled his body and that chainsaw into another bough. Three quarters of our tree was gone, butchered with empty trunks clawing upwards, crying “NO!”, asking “Why?”; their bloom and glory hacked off.
The tree cutters had the wrong tree.
There was a dead tree around the corner, finished with life, waiting to be laid to rest.
How did they miss that?
I tried to prepare my two boys on the way home from school. My eldest, now 10, saw it and sobbed. I held his head. We rocked, we cried. He sobbed for the tree, and for himself, and for the workers who rested under the tree, and for the monkeys that loved the tree too.
Perhaps this is a picture of life sometimes.
Doing your best to do what you are made and meant to do, standing tall, giving, and giving. You are beautiful. You haven’t done anything wrong. Then in the blink of an afternoon, the storm hits. Mutilated and shattered, you are left with parts of your life scattered across a field. A season of affliction, where every raging obstacle and opposition rears its head against you and yours. I have recently lived through the worst of one of these seasons, a long one too. I felt that my insides were dying with a relentless pit of anxiety in my gut that welled through to my questioning mind and spilled out in hours of tears.
Scattered and shattered.
Death, divorce, financial crises, long-standing strife, abuse, sickness. All of these things and many more, strip parts of our intended beauty away.
And yet… despite all… our tree is still standing, yes only a quarter, but a good quarter.
Surprisingly it has opened up another view of the sea. My husband has reassured us and the tree that it will quickly sprout green shoots up and over its severed trunks that will cover the blunder. Looking closely, it seems the perfect structure for a tree house too.
And so the tree and our love for the tree will live on. It will never be the same, but it will surely be beautiful still.
Perhaps a picture of life and hope and love with possibilities for us too.
Our beloved Coral tree
Photos: Own and Pixabay