As we are all still reeling from the effects of the Mega-Storm Sandy, part of the shock is the forever altered landscape we see around us.
From the enormous loss of personal property, homes and lives, our coastline will never be the same. I find myself mourning the losses of my friends and neighbors, and praying more often for the ones who have lost family members as well as material things. Nothing will cause you to count your blessings as much as narrowly escaping losing them.
The night of the storm, I looked out my back window to see the terrifying prospect of our huge Norway Spruce swaying perilously in the swirling winds. "Dear Lord, I prayed, please don't let it hit the house." At over 80 feet high and of massive girth, it would have removed my family room and possibly part of the second floor.
Well, I was blessed. It came down indeed, with hardly a sound and fell across my backyard.
Now I know how lucky I am that the tree fell where it did, that there was no damage to my home from it's massive bulk, and that we suffered no personal loss, but, still, I am heartbroken at the loss of this mighty tree.
How long did it stand there in the yard? At least one hundred years. Think of the history that passed whilst it grew from a little shrub into a behemoth.
From the horse and buggy and gaslight, to the Space Shuttle and the iPad, the tree stood watch. It's companion, a magnificent Copper Beech of even greater age, seemed to spread it's branches in a gesture of disbelief.
Its boughs gave shade in summer and sheltered us from winter winds. The tree was the home of many small creatures, from squirrels to the fabulous crows who sat at it's top and cawed out their dominion over all beneath. The cones it produced in bountiful clusters fed a myriad of animals and birds and provided us with decorations at Christmas for the thirty years we've lived here.
I'm not ashamed to tell you that I cried when I touched the very top of the tree as it lay across the lawn, something I would never have achieved if not for the fall. I grabbed clusters of it's cones to preserve. It was bitterly sweet.
A dear friend is cutting up the tree and hauling its remains to the curb. I still find myself misting up when I hear the stinging noise of his chainsaw.
Yes, my loss was small, and I'll plant another tree in Spring that will, with God's grace, grow to be as mighty as our beloved spruce..... although not so close to the house.
And I hope with all my heart that we will continue to heal and grow as a community, wounded and hurt, but helping each other to heal and go on, not defeated.
Dr. Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or -e-mail. For an appointment please call 631. 472 .8139 or e-mail us at Drfootsi@myway.com.