Friday, February 14, 2014

Farewell Old Tree

If you look closely, you will see a man at the base of the large left branch of the tree.

A brief film clip--Farewell Old Tree

In this age of overpopulation and cavalier exploitation of natural resources, I am keenly aware of the few precious centennial trees we have left at Rancho Caridad. One such tree had expired probably about two years ago. I am not sure exactly when, as I seem to recall her bearing fruits as recently as two years ago. Then, the inevitable. She didn't flower. She shed her leaves and her branches withered to death.

I would have left her alone for her statuesque beauty. However, the certainty of her rotting core, typhoons and her proximity to the house forces me to cut her down. I reflect on the many thousands she has delighted with her sweet mangoes, the birds she has sheltered, the children who have climbed her branches, the snakes and lizards that have burrowed under her roots and the fresh air she has produced for all to breath.

To honor her life and death, we partition her carefully to ensure we use all the wood she has left behind as best as we can. Solid tabletops from her trunk, cooking fuel from her branches, vermiculture fodder from her saw dust--not an ounce wasted and a fitting farewell to a grand old tree.

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