The Dogwood and the Cedar

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This is a re-post of something I posted on Jan 9, 2013, when I was a fledgling blogger. I still feel the same every time I drive by where they were.

For many years I passed a dogwood and cedar on my way to and from home. There are lots of dogwoods and cedars along this road, but these two had grown intertwined.  In the spring the white blossoms of the dogwood popped against of the green of the cedar.  In summer, they offered two shades of green, and in the fall the burnished copper of the dogwood leaves and the red berries sparkled against the cedar branches.  In winter, I imagined the cedar protecting the dogwood, wrapping it with its branches, keeping it safe and warm until spring.  The two trees seemed like a married couple, husband and wife, complementing and protecting each other over the years.

Finally, one day in late summer, I drove by my favorite trees and gasped. A road crew had come by and cut down the cedar.  It was gone.  The dogwood, forlorn and also damaged, stood, drooping.  It lasted through the winter but in the spring, the blossoms were few and the leaves were sparse.  It was as if its spouse had died, and it no longer had the will to live. Finally, toward the end of that year, the dogwood fell.

Maybe I’m just getting old and sentimental, but I shed a few tears for those trees.

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23 thoughts on “The Dogwood and the Cedar

  1. Noelle, there is so much about the world that we don’t yet understand. Of course you connected with those trees. How profound a relationship and sad.

    I just learned last week about an experiment where plants were connected to electrodes which were connected to a synthesizer. The experimenter wrote: “After some time being connected to such device and producing sounds, plants seem to become aware of the process; they seem to understand that those sounds are coming from them… and they start playing with it.”

    I know it sounds insane, but why not? The world is so much more amazing than our puny brains think. If you’re interested, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZX5B_p79V4

  2. Belinda Crane

    I understand this Noelle. I’ve watched trees grow over the years only to find at some point they have been removed. It does make you sad when you see this happen. Horrifying when the old trees are replaced by newer, younger versions. We are a strange species.

  3. We sat at a lunch party our neighbours gave last Sunday in late summer sun and reminisced about trees we’d lost in our gardens, through disease. Two Ash, monumental creatures that defined our boundaries were much missed. Ash dieback is a cruel illness that will be devastating on the UK landscape I fear. I Understand your loss

    • I can’t bear to see trees cut down, even when I know it’s necessary. Hopefully the ash dieback won’t be as bad as envisioned. We’ve had all sorts of things attacking our trees here – the beetles in the Northeast were devastating a few years back.

  4. Thanks for reposting this, Noelle. I hadn’t discovered your blog yet when you posted it first time around. Beautiful but sad. I also feel for trees. I always find them reassuring.

  5. Alex Hurst

    I don’t think you’re just sentimental. There is something about the intangible relationships we build with things… I think the grief is similar to pets we have but never really, really connected with… a sort of distant, but disquieting hurt.

  6. We had a beautiful, old oak tree here that dated something like over 100 years. I would go out of my way to drive up that road and see it from the distance, wonder of all that beautiful living thing had witnessed over the years in the area. Amazed at its beauty. One day, it wasn’t there anymore. We researched a bit and found out there was going to be a new community going up nearby and it would interfere with the planning. Some said the tree was also very old, probably decaying and it needed to go. It was sad, nonetheless. Very sad. Thank you for this wonderful post, Noelle.

  7. I know how you feel, Noelle. The lovely pines across the road have been decimated, not by insects or decay; but by a road crew clearing branches completely along the roadway. All because the property owner was not home to direct the crew. Tearful in Central Maine… 😦

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