Friday, July 15, 2011

a devastating thing

we live in a part of town where every house (it seems) is close to 100 yrs old, i know ours is. lining the streets of our beautiful section of town are elm trees that are as old as the house. we have had 2 beautiful octogenarian elms on either front corner of our property for the 15 yrs we have lived where we are. i cannot express my mourning this week to come home from work and see the tree that we don't share with our neighbour having been tagged for removal due to Dutch Elm Disease. my first thought was "there's nothing wrong with that tree, it's just old, why can't they just leave the old guy alone?" and then i saw the literature that accompanied our devastating loss. the symptoms of Dutch Elm are typically a withering of leaves near the top of the tree in the height of what should be their prime growing time. that's exactly what has happened to the old fella.

i very literally mourned. it will affect our property values and much of the shade of our home will be lost but i wasn't mourning any of that. i was mourning the loss of a living thing that had brought joy and comfort to us. a tree is a beautiful and majestic thing and when you live in a city in a forest which is what Winnipeg is then you sometimes forget to look at the trees while they surround you. this old guy is a gnarled veteran who has seen more history than i ever will. he isn't a pretty tree but he obviously used to be and there is still plenty of majesty there in those limbs and a solid trunk.

i was nearly moved to tears to see it marked like it was. i will mourn his loss when he goes. i may need the day off even, and i'm not joking.

it's just plain devastating.

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