It was December of 2000 and Mom and Dad, well aware of all the angst in my heart and just as outraged by the unnecessary felling of this tree, decided to gift our family with a replacement, a small evergreen they purchased at Swanson's nursery. We planted the tree just feet from the trunk of the orginal tree but clearly on our side of the property line. I remember feeling that although this tiny tree would never replace the gentle giant, another living beauty planted there would one day ease the pain of a bitter loss. We never anticipated how this young pine would flourish; just the right amount of light and water apparently because each year this tree sprouts out with new branches, young and green with life, and lifts skyward another few feet. What once began as a four foot pine is now well over 15 feet tall.
The neighbor promised to plant new shrubbery to make the bald and scraggly area look better but despite all efforts, her gardener could never get the plantings to take hold; they all died, including a desolate evergreen that turned brown over a warm summer. I had to chuckle inside for there was nothing else for me to say or do other than watch our healthy youngster thrive and grow solidly.
This year I dressed the lower branches of our lofty pine with unbreakable simple ornaments in silver and purple, taking care to secure them to the branches so that wind and rain would not have their way with them. I must say, the tree looks lovely all dressed for the holidays. This is my Christmas tree, a living testimony to the power of survival and healing. May you grow into rich expansiveness and envelop us in your beauty.