I was sitting at my desk on a Monday morning, calmly reviewing my inbox of emails, when I heard a yell and a sharp crack outside.  I raised my eyes to look out the window in time to see a huge pine tree – we’re talking at least 70 feet tall – fall from my neighbor’s property through the air and, landing with a thud, sprawl its green branches across the street.

Oh my God!  It’s just not the kind of sight that I normally encounter out my window.  I watched with curiosity, now noting the bulldozer, the chain saws, the crew of workers who proceeded to take down tree after tree after tree.  My neighbors obviously had some plans for a large addition, but all I could think about were those beautiful trees who woke up to the sunrise, roots comfortably resting in frozen soil, oblivious to the fact that they would be headed to the lumber mill by the afternoon.

I felt a pang of sadness . . . not only for these particular trees but for all uprooted trees in general.  I was reminded of an early ‘tree loss’ in my life.  My childhood front yard was graced with the presence of two majestic southern magnolias.  I loved those trees like two older sisters.  Together they filled the front yard of my world.  And in an instant, it seemed, one was gone.

For me, the loss of that sweet tree felt like a death.  But as I reflect now on the tall pines gone from my current office view, I’m aware that they’ve only moved on.  Perhaps those pines are destined to become the wall in a home or the siding on a barn, maybe the base of a desk or the pulp for card-stock paper – who can tell?

I watch trees fall through the air on a cold winter’s morning, thinking the words “the end of a chapter, the beginning of the next” and hearing instead the word “Timber.”

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