Tag Archives: hippie

When a Tree Falls in My Yard My Heart Makes a Sound

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.




The two of them lounged on the grassy hill, she barefoot, he in his flip-flops, watching the wind blow wishes from a patch of dandelions into the air and around the foot of the hill.  Her toes scrunched around grass and pulled on it nervously.  He chewed his cuticles until she reached up and swatted his hand away from his mouth.

“Stop that.  Those are there for a reason!”

“What reason?”

“How should I know?”

He shrugged, then started laughing and pushed her playfully.  She leaned away for about a second, then buoyed back towards him, letting her head rest on his shoulder.  He smiled, squinting into the sunshine that was filtering through the leaves in the tree overhead, casting dancing shadows on them, performing a ballet just for the two of them.  He thought of that and smiled.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Dancing leaves.”

She looked at him oddly, questioningly, as her mouth slowly curled up into a smile, and she shoved him.  He buoyed this time, but came back with enough force to knock her back over, and they both started laughing.  The laughing turned to smiling, then to a deep look that made them both feel as if time had stopped.  The smiles faded into seriousness.

“I’m sorry.”

“What can I say?  It happens.”

He looked sad, and her eyes began a tiny flood, and her lip trembled a little.  Just once.

“I don’t understand why.”

“Me neither.”

“Will we get over it?”


“How can you be so sure?”

“I love you.  That’s how.”

They were still staring, and they both knew it to be as true as the day they first said it.

“Yeah, you’re right.”

Their attention went from each other to the wishes gently floating around them.  They looked down the hill at the bald heads of what were once flowers as yellow as the sun, one that many considered a weed.  The wind picked up and blew the wishes around them, one hovering between them, daring them to reach for it, and they both looked at it until their eyes focused on each other.  Neither moved, and the wish slowly rose up into the air, and away.