Thursday, May 9, 2013

Requiem for a Tree...

There is a tree here in Vancouver that is without question one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen.  For the past 15 years, I have watched the seasons through that tree -- spring, summer, fall, winter.  The tree has become like a friend.  When winter is nearing its end, I watch for the leaves to start budding on the tree, and then I watch for the blossoms.  Often I will go to work in the morning, and they aren't there, but at the end of the day when I turn the corner to come home -- et voila! -- the tree is in full bloom.  Everything about the tree is perfect -- the shape of it, the way the branches stretch above the sidewalk.  Across the street from the tree is a tiny corner park with a park bench, and on the hottest summer afternoons I sometimes sit on the little bench and watch the breeze in the tree, and watch the passersby on their bikes, skateboards or on foot.  It's a wonderful cool, calm people-watching spot, and the tree and I keep each other company.

Today as I came home from work, I turned the corner and all I saw was a huge, raw hole in the ground.  The most beautiful tree in Vancouver no longer exists.  It's gone.  The adjacent building is an old heritage church, and it now houses a neighbourhood community centre.  The centre is expanding and renovating its premises, and during renovations of the building, they chopped down the tree.  I actually feel real grief.

No matter what "improvements" they make to the building, it will never look the same without that wonderful tree.  It just looks like yet another barren structure in the middle of the city.  I'm sure it will be very nice, and it will provide better services to the community it supports.  But as Holly Golightly would have said, "But, oh, golly, gee, damn...!" did they really have to chop down such an exquisitely beautiful tree in the process?

I'm glad I took pictures of it, to remember it.

10 comments:

KathyB. said...

This makes me sad too. A beautiful tree gone, just like that. I hope what they replace it with brings at least as much happiness and joy as the tree. But still, that is a very big loss and I am sorry for YOUR loss Jo.

the walking man said...

Seriously that is a bummer.

Russell said...

Very sorry to hear this. At least you do have some good memories and pictures but, of course, that is no substitute for the real thing.

Some people are simply obtuse. If I had to make a prediction, there will be a new tree planted in its place before too long.

In any event, very sorry to hear someone decided to remove such a beautiful tree.

DJan said...

There were four beautiful pine trees next to my old apartment. Last week I saw them cut down three of the four, and I was glad I didn't have to live there and see the stumps in the ground every day. I loved those trees, so I know exactly how you are feeling. :-(

Leslie: said...

What a shame! But maybe the roots were causing a problem under the building. I know the area of which you write as it was my signal to turn right to pick you up. I'm glad you have some pictures of it.

Single and Sane said...

Just reading about it made my heart sink. I'll never understand why people are so quick to cut down trees in the name of progress. Seems pretty backward to me. ;-)

Kathleen McCoy said...

They couldn't have built around it? So sad that the beautiful tree is gone but glad you have pictures of it. And it can certainly live on, in a way, in your beautiful memories.

Reading this, I remembered my Aunt Molly's front yard which had three beautiful trees and, on the other side of the driveway, a rose garden. After she died and her house was sold, the new owners got rid of the trees (even though their roots were no threat to the house) and cleared away the rose garden because they wanted a total low maintenance yard. The last time I drove by, it was just an ugly patch of dying grass and clogs of dirt where the trees and roses used to be. I'm not going by that way again.

I'm sad that you have to be reminded of this loss on a daily basis!

Kathleen McCoy said...

They couldn't have built around it? So sad that the beautiful tree is gone but glad you have pictures of it. And it can certainly live on, in a way, in your beautiful memories.

Reading this, I remembered my Aunt Molly's front yard which had three beautiful trees and, on the other side of the driveway, a rose garden. After she died and her house was sold, the new owners got rid of the trees (even though their roots were no threat to the house) and cleared away the rose garden because they wanted a total low maintenance yard. The last time I drove by, it was just an ugly patch of dying grass and clogs of dirt where the trees and roses used to be. I'm not going by that way again.

I'm sad that you have to be reminded of this loss on a daily basis!

KrippledWarrior said...

Happy Mother's Day Jo.

livingtheseasons.com said...

I felt the same way when my daughter had to take down some old Bradford pear trees in her front yard. They had to go - two had already snapped - but it sure was ugly afterwards.

http://livingtheseasons.com/2012/08/08/change-is-inevitable-but-not-welcomed/

I followed a link over from the Country Girl Chronicles and have enjoyed visiting for a few minutes.

Nancy