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Friday, December 14, 2007

Through the Pane of Glass – Part 13

21 Days From My Window

Outside my window this morning, the cold misty rain still lingers. The clouds are a blanket across a cold wintry sky. Ice is melting, and it drips, drips, drips off of the houses, cars and power lines. Two men and three boys are bundled in sweatshirts and bulky coats across the street. Their hair is plastered damply against their heads, and their cheeks are red with cold.

These are the strong but gentle surgeons who will lend their compassion and skill to my tree friends today. They drag broken limbs into piles as one man uses a chain saw to section the severed branches of the once lovely Bradford pear ladies. In the faces of the grown-ups, I see the gravity of the work they perform, while in the faces of the young boys I see a mixture of glee, and determination to perform their important, manly tasks.

The job is soon finished for the tree on the right side of my chilly window pane. She stands, thin and wan. Daylight peeking through her ribs where only a few days ago were leaves of bright red and green. She looks pale and feeble, yet she is really quite strong. She will continue to heal as these December days rush toward their end. I imagine that she closes her eyes to sleep, in spite of the noise of three young boys, and their hard-working fathers wielding a chain saw.

On my left, the guys go to work again, cutting away the twisted and broken limbs of the second Bradford pear lady. I can barely see, from my window, that her trunk is strong and sturdy. Though her remaining branches are thin and fragile, she just might make it through this season. One strong, solitary branch reaches toward the quaint little house which it is her duty to guard, while around the base of her trunk, the branches and logs are gathered.

The bent and scarred giant behind her is brown and ragged against the misty morning sky, and I can just make out the pale yellow patches where his limbs have been broken and torn. His silhouette is vastly changed, as his heaviest branches have fallen from the center of his body. But he seems to watch in hopeful silence as this surgery is performed. The great bare giant beside him is bolstered and strengthened by the stoic reserve of this grand old tree.

The air is filled with both expectation and the bright voices of children, working happily alongside their fathers. Hope refuses to go quietly into the wintry morning. Here beside my window, I am thankful that he continues to stand and fight, in honor of my beautiful new tree friends.

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