I live along a river, next to woods, with trees of all types; some planted, but most there by natures design. When I first moved to this location in the country – after the deaths of my parents and both siblings – I chose a favorite; a large solitary tree in a grassy area, which from old photographs, appears to have been there prior to the building of any structures in the 1930’s. It is huge, with branches reaching out and upward. It too, is dead. I have watched the tree now for four years, as the last small branches have finished trying to cling to life. Each storm takes a little more of it, as branches break and fall to the ground.
In the spring of this year, a local electrician working on my house, who heats his home with wood, asked to cut the tree down. I could not let it go. I told him that I take photos of it, and that it somehow belongs where it is. He suggested that he would be doing me a favor by clearing the land. I declined again, politely telling him that I would call him, should I change my mind. He looked slightly bewildered upon hearing this, and looked at me as if I was an eccentric outsider. He shook his head, smiling slightly, got into his truck and left. I let his judgment fall upon me, and acknowledged, if only to myself, that tree or not, I would not be living alone, an artist, with a penchant for deep thinking, living in the present, and appreciating the solitude and beauty of the land, if I were not, to some extent, eccentric.
So summer has now passed into fall, and the tree remains where it has been for decades. I watch while the solitary eagle lands on its bare branches, as it rests before circling on its route for food. Branches continue to fall. I continue to take photographs of the tree in the rain, in the sunlight, as sand cranes fly beside it, and in the light of the setting sun. I am reminded on a daily basis, that the tree, perhaps all living things, continue to provide for the living, long after their own life ceases.