A tree that was my soul-mate died today.
Monday afternoon, calm after the storm, I retraced my steps to inspect the damage. It was shocking. Colchester suffered two hours of high winds, in that short period of time the carnage to the trees in the town was huge.
Passing through Hilly Fields I saw half the great trees guarding the “Chiswell Meadow” spring had fallen. The entrance to Cymbeline Meadows, where I had raced through as tree branches crashed all around me, was now blocked with fallen trees.
I was grief struck as I came upon the scene I did not want to see, a tree that I had fallen in love with, which I had named the “Castle Tree,” had fallen, cut down by Storm St Jude. My earlier jubilation of experiencing this storm evaporated. Today, I shed tears like the leaves of my now dying friend. The oak tree that had dominated a field boundary, the object of many of my photos, that had experienced so much in its 500+ years of life, lay broken across the field; cows gathered in refuge from a sudden burst of rain inside its fallen branches.
Weeks before I had gathered acorns from its branches, planting dozens of them. This was a fallen comrade, a source of many evenings of meditation, a symbolic-soul mate. I felt sick, a deep grief. A month before I said to someone this tree would outlast me, it would become a symbol in my business, I did not think it would fall so cruelly and unexpectedly. I often pass this tree, now a grave. After the shock, I shall gather more acorns, and some of the wood to craft. I hope something of the Castle Tree will live on, for now all I see is a broken fallen tree, I am unable to get close to due to the cows.
Later I arrive in my wood, predictably one of the two trees that hung threatening my tent had fallen, though it missed the tent, had I been under it at the wrong moment I would not now be writing this blog post. The smaller tree at the camp which I thought would fall, was still standing, nature is blind when it comes to what lives or dies.