Once I believed in you; I planted a fig tree.
Here, in Vermont, country
of no summer. It was a test: if the tree lived,
it would mean you existed.
-- Louise Glück
The wind blew down much of our old ash tree last night. If I was a better citizen I'd be out there right now sawing off the branches so as to clear the sidewalk, but instead I'm at Tom's having my usual leisurely breakfast. I'll get it later. I reckon I make up sixty percent of the foot traffic on our sidewalk, anyway: our neighborhood is not -- in that sense -- very pedestrian.
The ash is not one of my favorite trees. I've never been very partial to ashes, and this one has been moping and dropping limbs ever since I've known it. It has supported a surprising number of fungi -- always something new popping up -- but I'm not grieving for it. It still has one ramshackle mast standing, but we might just give up on it and plant something else there. I wonder if a birch would do well?
I'm often passionately attached to trees, so my indifference to this one troubles me a little. But there it is. I may not make friends with many more trees in my life: I find my ability to form firm attachments is dwindling. I am a little mopey myself, maybe: the long march through the giving season is beginning to tell, and I feel I've missed my footing several times, this winter, coming down hard on unexpectedly slanted surfaces that have given way. I grow circumspect, with shrewish, waspish impulses that surprise and trouble me. I don't want to go that direction.
Trying, perhaps, too hard, too much, too long.
Other things have opened, meanwhile, unlooked for: unexpected late blossoms. And I am slowly gathering strength. Winter and its clarity have come late, this year, but the rains are building up over our heads even now: we should have a real downpour this afternoon, to wash the world clean. I am ready for it.