Is Change a 4-Letter Word?

by Pamela Goode

I’m sitting at the new desk my son and I made over the weekend (“Mom, you need a desk. You can’t keep working in the kitchen.”), which means that instead of watching the Southern light stream in just above the row of Italian cypress that Sweetest and I are patiently watching inch up toward the sky, I’m gazing over the Northern vista toward the English garden he designed and planted surrounding a stately and spreading elm.

Tree HaulOr, more precisely, I’m watching a trampling of the English garden as five neon-yellow-chested workers carry the centerpiece off in huge slices hoisted on their shoulders.

We knew she was on her last leg when we moved here, but despite the hollow cubbies here and there and the massive cable linking her three largest branches, still she stood, day after day, happy to hold a swing and a bee skep, willing to shade the hostas and hydrangeas that wouldn’t survive without her leafy sun-shield. Our Tree Guy said, “She’s gonna hit the ground one day, but she won’t come near the house, so I’d leave her up as long as she wants to stay.” And so we did, hoping that would be Forever.

TreefallForever came this weekend. Vernon heard the crack as one of the cables snapped and a third of the trunk broke away, filling the yard with branches fifteen feet above the ground. When Jason and I returned from Desk Materials Central, aka IKEA, we drove right into that dead-tree-jungle of twigs, branches, leaves, and barkness everywhere. Oh. Welcome Home, Change.

Tree Garden 2012And so my new work vista that would have looked like this:

Tree Garden 2012 After

now looks like this:

There are worse places to be, of course.

When I get pissy about this or that, I try to fall back on the mantra: Embrace Change, Embrace Change. And still I wonder, my mental rambling accompanied by the harbinger chant of a chainsaw, where’s the upside here? Change, I’m not a total hardass. Show me the upside and I will meet you halfway. Maybe a nod today; maybe a handshake in a couple of weeks.

So far, no response, just a peculiar morning watching the yellow guys pulling elm branches out of the fifty-foot redwoods, and it’s all very Magritte. I need tea.

Magritte, Carte Blanche