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A powerful being is dying, and I’ve got to let it go.

Guest Blogger: Amie Brodie - Boomer - Toledo, Ohio

Willow, Tree, Arnie Brodie
Photo Amie Brodie

A powerful being is dying, and I’ve got to let it go.

The ancient willow behind my house has finally fallen, and the tree guys have been called. What’s left must be cut down and hauled away, ignominiously chopped and stacked, with nothing but a stump to mark the spot where it stood for so long. Its huge and hoary head has dominated this piece of land for decades; it was at least a hundred years old, and likely has been here before this present house was built. It has sheltered countless generations of birds and animals, drawing its life out of the wormy wet ground, and giving it back again in an endless reincarnational cycle.

Now it will be gone, and I’m afraid. It has stood as an anchor to this property, a vast, deep energy holding the center. What will rush in to fill the void? I’m already at a rootless place in my life, so much changing, and I spin gyroscopically at times, unable to right myself. Sometimes all I’ve had to steady me is that first morning pause as I step out my back door to stop and breathe, and search its branches for the frequent owl visitor, or to watch squirrels race up and down its trunks. In spring it is full of warblers, and an oriole nested in it every year.

Now what? Superstitiously, I’m worried that somehow I’ll become untethered from this home I love and float away on currents of circumstance beyond my control.

My husband tries to reassure me. He’s relieved that the tree came down with minimal damage, and it’s true we won’t have to stress anymore about it crashing down some stormy night on the garage or the neighbor’s yard. Of course he’s right, Rationally, I know this.

So I plan to hold a ceremony to honor my tree. I cut a shoot, and will root it and plant it to continue its life. If the tree guys can cut the stump off smoothly, I might set up an altar or meditation space on it. Maybe I’ll take a chunk of wood and carve myself a little Buddha.

Lot of fuss over an old tree. You’d have had to know it. It has been a steadfast presence on this place, a solemn guardian of so many lives that have come and gone. Its life was as worthwhile as any could be. Nobody can say whether that life should matter more or less than any other. I know it mattered to me.


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