Tamara Willems

until it was gone…

Today..  well today is, as they say – all the feels. 
Today, a day when our big maple tree is cut down, for safety.  After a brief but mighty wind blew through in a thunderstorm, last week
breaking off substantial branches that came crashing down
and landed precisely at our front door.  This loss although deemed necessary, feels to me  
like a deep, deep
As well as concern for the gardens that grow under and around this large beauty, that will now be sacrificed in the production of its removal. 
Today then, seems like a day of  
in letting go, in grief and loss
as always I will mourn the loss of another tree 
on the vast landscape of  
our world 
a small devastation on the grand scale of many, many others 
but felt…   just the same 
a loss for the varied birds, squirrels and insects
who have called this tree home
whose shelter, shade and comfort  
we have appreciated  
so very much 

grief of course for the 
the open space of  
the ghost of 
what had been  
and the gardens and shrubs  
that neighbour 
companions of the plant 
crushed and trampled, broken 
we’re all feeling this
I take my pictures through windows 
almost afraid to look 
I become my own sort of ghost
trying not to

always a finite underlining of how very much nothing…   
is in our control 

alongside this, there is of course 
appreciation and great gratitude 
for our tree, certainly 
but also 
for the fellows who have arrived to carefully as they can 
take down a very large being
a serious business, I should think 
and one where there is no way, you would find me  
up there in the sky, in a bucket 
chainsaw in hand, cutting off branches 
limb by limb 
and those below, that gather, chip and take away 
while I in the house, cower at each thud 
and try not to look at what  
once was
or the landing site

I get a notice this morning that an old email server is shutting down and I wonder what might be still there that should need saving. 
This draws me into a visit with my beloved Aunt Maureen, as what I find in my ‘saved’ files 
are columns she had written for her local newspaper,
some, fourteen years ago
and particularly, bless her,
ones around the time of my dad’s death. (her younger brother)
This has me feeling, a little sadness – sure
but more so, blessed and loved.
I did love my Aunt Maureen and the great comfort she was to me at a very difficult time. How very much her voice, her lovely face, her arms and indeed her strong, kind heart mattered in my life. As well as memories of my dad’s passing, then later my Aunt Maureen too.
This then gives me my outlet for tears. 
For loss, for grief 
for allowing and letting things go 
as they do. 

But too, for gratitude and appreciation
in having known love 
in having felt 
and in keeping all of this
in my heart 
and always  
as a great, great blessing 
of life  

a forever surrounding of love ♥

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~ Pema Chodron

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