Our house got very lucky.
Last week, one half of a giant tree came down in the front yard right outside. My aunt claims she didn't even hear it happen.
It's hard to believe, but I do.
It came down in a wind storm and fell towards the front porch.
This imposing half of a tree fell towards the living side of the property, ending up with its topmost branches gently kissing the shingles.
It must have been an awkward moment when it happened. Kind of like a drunk girl who falls on a couch at a party, suddenly finding herself in the lap of an unsuspecting guest. Maybe the length of her stay seems longer than it should be--she kind of likes it there--and without warning, she plants a long, slow kiss on our guest, surprising him, but not too many others at the party ... because this kind of thing happens all the time.
And, like the shingles on the house prior to that surprise, our guest had only been able to stare and admire her from afar, wondering how on earth two creatures made from the same elements could end up so vastly different both in form and function--one growing and discovering her world; the other, acutely aware that he will never again feel physical growing pains nor benefit from nature's nutrients. For he is now sharp at the edges and starting to show signs of wear from constant heavy weather.
And then, as if waking from a dream, the moment is over and her boyfriend yanks her away. He picks her up and shakes her and asks her what the hell she thinks she's doing. Then he takes her away from the party in his truck and puts her to bed, wondering if it's even worth mentioning in the morning ... because this kind of thing happens all the time.
Meanwhile, our guest just sits there, immobile, nervous, anxious, and one hundred percent innocent.
And to him, when she is gone, he can't even believe she had been there for as long as she was. He can't even fathom that this beautiful creature had spent those fleeting moments with him in such a personal, and seemingly illogical way. He had been there, minding his own business, watching the goings-on, and fate had uprooted this leggy ingenue and sent her his way.
And regardless of whether or not it meant anything at all in the grand scheme of things, it had happened. It had happened and it had been intense, emotional, and unusual. And only he will probably remember it, for she was too far gone. Even her boyfriend, who yanked her away--coming upon them moments after the kiss had ended--didn't know what really happened. He only saw the aftermath and undertook some damage control, reflexively shooting a suspicious glare at our guest who was busy smoothing his wrinkled clothes and replaying the last three minutes in his mind over and over and over again so he could always remember how it felt, in case fate did not shine on him for some time.
And regardless of whether or not it meant anything at all in the grand scheme of things, it had happened. And it had left not only a memory, but a space where she had once stood--seemingly forever--before she fell. It left a space where, in time, others will stand, but for now remains awkwardly empty.
It left a space where the sun's rays never got to shine onto the shingles, whose rain-worn lines had taken the brunt of the weather, neither asking for, nor receiving help from above.
It left a space along the street where privacy once stood watch.
It left a space in the ground where movement was once impossible--for even the thought of passage was ludicrous.
It left a space where the moon and the stars can now shine through, as the night sky is constructed; where the airplane's arcs overhead can be viewed just a little longer; and the snowflake's unique, slow fall can now travel, joyfully uninterrupted.
It left a space.
Our house got very lucky.
Thanks for reading,