Wednesday, June 8, 2011

an ancient oak felled

an ancient oak felled
by wind, roots rotted,
green leaves withering

This oak stood for over a century, next to its companion, an erratic granite boulder left behind by a glacier. The tall tree withstood many a storm. It held on through ice that broke other trees. This spring, as it had done for countless spring times, it put forth fresh green leaves all along its lofty branches. Then one morning a high wind bowled over the entire tree, snapping it off at the base. The heavy oak crashed onto a concrete building housing the steam generator at Maharishi University. The trunk fractured, but the building, solid as a bunker, withstood the blow. Now John is cutting off the branches with a chain saw to use for firewood. The Amish will come to haul away the thick trunk to mill into posts and beams for a barn that will stand another century or more. The withered leaves and twigs will be chopped up into mulch for paths around campus. Perhaps the children at Maharishi School will plant a sapling oak in the hole left by the roots of its ancestor, next to the boulder bearing remnants of paint from some prankster in the previous century.

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