We are all connected.
And not just by the proximity and outreach that is available to us via our devices.
It goes way beyond that.
I believe that everything is alive and has a spirit.
There is another web active in our lives besides that World Wide one. It is a web of life, of energy that connects everything and everyone on this earth.
We are all interconnected and anything that suggests the belief that we are separate is an illusion.
Nature is the supreme example of this web of interconnection. The bees need the flowers. The flowers need the bees to bloom.
And I fucked up and cut down a tree in our front yard, apparently upsetting the delicate balance of nature throughout the world, or at least Los Angeles, California.
We are the custodians of a one hundred and 50-year-old ash tree. And he is our giant, grounded guardian.
Of that I am sure.
I remember a psychic predicting that I would live in a tree house one day (which at the time seemed absurd), but when I purchased this house a few years later my friends all remarked "I see you got a little house with your tree."
It is massive, one of the largest trees in Studio City and we are so blessed to live under its majestic canopy, feeling its energy, enjoying its shade.
On the curb, just adjacent to Ash (we'll call him Ash) was a nondescript tree-thingy.
An arborist that came to the house ten years ago educated us, telling us all about Ash, and when asked he informed me that the other tree wasn't any species that he was familiar with.
"It's just a weed that someone let grow into a tree a long time ago," he told us.
'Just A Weed Tree' was a lot of trouble.
Even after the annual haircut we gave him his canopy was dense and... ugly, not light and airy like Ash's. He cast too much shade for anything to flourish and the birds loved to congregate inside that dense, dark green foliage and shit all over our cars.
He had the bad attitude of an overgrown weed. He was pushy. And greedy, lifting the sidewalk, and getting into our pipes on a regular basis.
Just A Weed Tree always appeared to be crowding Ash, vying for light; and in the severe drought that we've found ourselves under, I feared he was chugalugging at the water table -- and I knew Ash was too polite to say anything.
I LOVE trees, I do, ask anyone. I absolutely adore Ash, but I was not fond of JAWT.
He wasn't a tree. He was a garden variety pest.
So this past Saturday our gardener cut him down. It took two guys and they were fast and thorough, even grinding the stump.
We both forgot that it was happening that day so when we got home the whole look and energy of the front yard had changed dramatically.
There was no sign that Just A Weed Tree had ever existed. But you could feel a HUGE void.
That weed had a presence.
We both stood at the curb, "Wow" was all we could say.
Now you could really see the front our house, there was the added sunlight in our yard that I had craved (for the plants) and with JAWT gone you could fully grasp the wonder of Ash.
"It looks like they trimmed the big tree too," my husband remarked as I went around picking up leaves still on their branches.
It appeared as if they had been cleanly cut and they were EVERYWHERE.
Except they hadn't been cut. They had been dropped.
I'd never seen anything like it. They covered the entire front yard, the driveway and even parts of the roof. In the fall, Ash drops single, dead, brown leaves, never bright green leaves still on their small branches.
What was up?
My arms were full, carrying the leaves to piles I had made on the driveway as it suddenly occurred to me: Ash was showing his shock and disapproval at the death of his friend Just A Weed Tree.
I walked over to him, closed my eyes and rested my hand on the rough bark of his trunk and I could feel his stress and despair.
First of all, I had always felt Ash was a female. Wrong. He has a very pronounced masculine energy.
And he was pissed. And under extreme stress.
Apparently the high pitched whine of a chainsaw has the same visceral effect on trees as a dental drill has on humans (yeah, okay, got it) plus he had known JAWT for over sixty years since he was just a tiny little weed that had somehow been spared. They were buddies.
I could feel his despair and it felt awful. I should have known better. Trees do have feelings and I had callously overlooked that fact.
We had basically murdered his friend right in front of him.
We are all interconnected, residents of this web of life and I needed Ash to know that I could feel his anguish, so I stood with both hands and my forehead on his trunk, apologizing and conveying our sincerest condolences for the loss of JAWT. I also explained the water situation and the fact that his health and stability were of the utmost importance to us. Then I played to his vanity telling him over and over how gorgeous (handsome) we think he is.
"You Mister, are the star of this neighborhood." I whispered gently.
"Now that he understands and knows how sorry we are--he'll be fine." I reassured my concerned husband as I stepped away.
And he is. After our little talk... he never dropped another leaf.