I evacuated to my daughter’s family home and bunked in for three days, and by the time it reached Tallahassee, the nasty Irma had mostly blown itself out. She partied in the Keys, gave Miami a punch in the gut and like many naughty girls, move up to the next victim.
Many of the trees Tallahassee likes to believe we have an abundance of, did fall, but not as many as last year’s major storm. But the only damage in my yard was actually helpful. My young pecan tree, left as a gift from its ancient mother who, as older tree and human mothers do, had become spent and diseased, leaving me no choice but to have it cut down.
However the ancient tree had seen me through the anxiety of the centennial going from the 1900s to the 2000s. It provided hope then and again when I had my two knees replaced and needed to move and stretch. Each time, this sturdy, comforting tree grew pecans on it and by picking each one from the ground, my knees grew steady and painless. I mourned the loss of a tree as I would any friend I loved.
The next Spring, I saw a young sprout in my rain garden, a much better place for a tree. Lo and behold, it was a pecan tree, the only one that has ever spouted from any of the pecans that have fallen.
Of course I was ecstatic to see the lacy pattern of leaves emerge as the youngster grew to twelve feet tall now. As Spring went on, webs covered most of the branches and I hoped they wouldn’t kill the youngster.
Well Irma blew through my lane and those webs – mostly caterpillar webbing, all came down and new, bright leaves appeared. The lesson taught to me, is have hope with whatever seems hopeless and let nature do what nature does.
I do feel fortunate the two large trees in my backyard with limbs too close to my roof, one a pecan and the other a live oak, did not fall and I will have them cut back, but they are sturdy and healthy (no I didn’t listen for a heartbeat or take their temperature), and I love my trees and the jungle I let my back yard grow into as a welcome spot for wild life.
May they last for generations to come. Even Irma couldn’t take them down!