I suppose everyone has their own version of dead wood. Stuff accumulates, it’s probably part of the law of Inertia.
Not too consequential if you’re just clearing out a junky closet. But when the inertia has descended onto several acres over 40 years, it gives one pause.
The hilltop across the valley has been an eyesore for longer than we care to remember. The real shame of it is that the grove of acacia trees – so valuable for their hard wood, intoxicating perfume, and bee-attracting flowers – has been devastated by the fatal appetites of mistletoe and thorn bushes.
John and the boys cleared what they could over the past year, but the huge skeletons of dead trees are the stuff of nightmares – of falling trees killing the man wielding the hatchet. Time to call in a pro.
The lumberjack flitted between trees like a grasshopper, chainsaws light as feathers, ladder perched at vertiginous angles. Every motion was calculated. A wedge of 2 centimeters at the base of a trunk at first incision would create a tilt of 20 meters at the top of the tree. Snip here, snip there, buzz and another buzz, step back to reflect, final snip… he could have been a tailor working a custom suit.
Neighbors told us they heard the vibrations of the falling trees carry through the earth. They might have mourned, but we all agreed it was right and just for the dead to give way to the new.
Now there is a view from the hilltop all the way to the church spire of Gensac. Earth is exposed to sunshine. Barrels of seeds to sow wildflowers and green plants to re-fertilize the soil are on their way.
If reality begins by imagination, then I see Wordworth’s spirit coming over that hilltop next spring, beholding a host of young sprouts, golden and green.