Monday, August 16, 2010


Two years ago when I was scouting out my current home before I decided to purchase it, I noticed that the neighbor's yard contained a huge old and weathered tree. It was at least 12 feet in circumference at its base and about 50 feet high. It had been dead for quite some time, a fact that was pretty obvious with just a quick glance. However, surrounding the base of the tree was an overgrown holly bush that provided some greenery and helped to mask the demise of the old tree. Even though all of this was somewhat of an eyesore, it still provided quite a bit of shade on the northeast corner of my house and driveway and also provided effective privacy from the neighbor's house.

I came home from work the other day to find the local tree-care service had descended on my neighbor's front yard. Half a dozen workers, covered in wood shavings and wielding chain saws, busied themselves placing the scattered remains of that old tree in their truck. Looking at the pieces of the trunk, they were nothing more than hollow cylinders, completely rotted away on the inside. I guess that it had to come down. Better a controlled felling than an unpredictable act of nature that could cause significant property damage. I stood in my driveway agape at the newly shaped vista, now drowned in stark and glaring sunlight. It has now been a week since this all took place, and my eyes have still not adjusted.

The other morning I was sitting in my car before leaving for work and I once again surveyed the drastically altered landscape of my neighbor's yard. I found it funny how sometimes other people can make necessary changes in their lives and it leaves us who rely on them exposed to a sudden harsh light in which we struggle to adjust.