July 30, 2021

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After surviving a thousand windstorms in its thick and leafy lifetime, a huge oak, the Ancient One, fell without a sound in the furious winds of the storm the other night. It is a sad realization when our elders, the most dignified beings among us, the ones stories are written about because even though they have never gone anywhere they somehow have seen IT ALL and survived to tell us and teach us about these things (if we ever take the time to listen), that even these majestic creatures are mortal. On the way down, it grabbed hold of its closest neighbor, the Great Pine, hugging it with such force as it took its last gigantic breaths in the wind and the lightening and the driving rain that the Great Pine came up by its roots trying to save its oldest friend with whom it had shared a million stories of eagles and squirrels and raccoons and full moons and snowstorms and this one family with all their little kids running circles around their feet. During the ceremonial autopsy yesterday morning, I noted the Ancient One had hollowed around the base over the decades, a decay in body that only spoke to the implausible strength of character it must have had to hold up a thousand tons of solid wood for so many decades, so magnificently, without ever uttering one word of complaint.