As I look out my kitchen window, a vast emptiness consumes the view. The tree is gone.
I love my small property in suburban Philadelphia more than I can explain. Sure, I can’t stand the neighbors, the cramped street, the parking, but my house is another story entirely. I have (or should say had) four trees which shaded my house beautifully in the summer, keeping the heat at bay and my electric bills down.
And then there were three.
Storms claimed my lovely tree, an elm that has slowly deteriorated over the years. My neighbors were afraid it would fall on their homes, and during the last ice storm even I became concerned when the branches that fell at 5AM were so big that the sound rattled my whole house. So I gave in and the tree had to go.
I promised Mother Nature, myself, my close friends, my girlfriend and family, everyone really, that I would plant another. Nobody seems too concerned about it, but this tree, every tree means the world to me. So for now, as the ground is still frozen, I wait until the moment when I can finally plant another. And for now, when I look out any window facing the alley, I can feel that emptiness of the view, the lack of something, and even though I can see the beautiful blue sky that is out there today, I miss the branches, the leaves, the drooping arms of what was once a beautiful elm.