I have kept track of the four of them for decades, those giant ash trees that look like geriatric cheerleaders, all knobby knees and elbows akimbo.
Today all that is left of them is s single massive torso laying heavily on the ground, cut open like a diagram to show a lifespan of growth, lightning strikes and termites.
It should be no surprise. The years and the wind and the ice have taken their toll. The empty spots where heartwood should have been housed countless birds and squirrels and other creatures that resided quietly within the depths of each limb. Often on our walks under the twisted trunks I would announce to Handsome Husband that it was time those trees came down. Public safety and all that. Finally, the emerald ash borer was threat enough to bring them down.
Despite my practicality, I miss them. The space in the sky is surprisingly empty now. No arthritic fingers to catch the wind, no elbows or crooks for nest-building birds. It’s quieter too.
That may be why, in part, I paint trees. As memorials to all they’ve seen and all they have held in their arms and nestled in their shadows.
I've been sharing the odds and ends of my art life for the last 8 years.