It brought mortality to mind when the old willow tree in the front had to come down. It had been there since we bought the house more than 30 years ago, and even then it was a full grown tree. I don’t know how old it was, and I’m kicking myself for not counting the rings before they carted the trunk away.
It was part of the identity of the home; ‘Just look for the farmhouse with the willow’. The kids loved hiding in its low-hanging branches, swinging from them, telling girl stories that I would never hear with their friends, sitting in the slatted swing seat that hung from a low arm of the tree.
It had to come down. It was dangerous. ‘But we’ll replant,’ I said. And then I realized how mortality works. There won’t be another huge tree there in my lifetime. The math doesn’t work.
So there it is. Unflinching truth, unchangeable reality. Not in my lifetime.