The shafts of early morning sunlight, spilled across the golden fields of ripening barley. I stood, as I have always done, in the early mornings, against the old Oak tree, that marks the edge of our little piece of Heaven. Tomorrow it would be gone, just so much green oak timber. Cut down by the relentless power of some woodsman's chainsaw. I first stood here, when we moved into the cottage, a little over fourteen years ago. On that day, it had been raining, dark clouds had scudded across the brooding sky. It had been late Autumn.
Now it was late July. For days now we had seen, and heard the effects of the chainsaw`s efforts. At first the noise, that high pitched screaming noise, followed by the crash of tree against tree, as another of Mother nature`s wonders came crashing to earth. Then little by little, more and more sky, each day a little more.
It was almost two years ago when the men came, I watched that day as they sprayed little orange dots on certain tree`s, selecting those for execution. And now it was happening. Tomorrow, my leaning tree would be gone. No more relaxing in the early morning light, after a long night shift, with that ubiquitous cup of coffee. No more, the feel of that hard rough bark against my back, no more.
The leaning tree, a huge Oak tree of many years growth, older than anyone I know, older than many things. I did measure its diameter one winters day, I was surprised, it was just over four feet. How long had this tree been around? Probably over two hundred years, long enough to see the armies of Bonnie Prince Charlie pass by, what stories it could tell.
I would`nt be around when they felled this tree, I had decided I would be elsewhere.