One of the things we loved about this little house on the hill was the giant pine tree in the front yard, and the magnolia next to it. In fact, we loved all the pine trees that lined the ridge of the yard and the driveway. But that was yesterday–well, technically, it was yesterday 2015…after the big fire.
You might notice the scythe-shaped pine limb with the two dangling edges in the center left of the photograph. From the angle when I sit on the porch, I thought they looked like praying mantis hands.
When I would sit out on the front porch, I watched over the years as small bits and pieces at the ends of limbs would blow down, but still, those hands hung on. Sometimes when the wind was blowing, I would watch the praying mantis arms swaying and wonder how they did not fall. Invariably after a winter storm and ice or snow, a larger limb or branch would fall. It became a habit to check them after heavy rain or storms. We have experienced considerable episodes of heavy downpours and a couple of thunderstorms with high winds since Hurricane Laura hit the coast and moved inland. We lost two limbs in the back yard and two small trees at the bottom of the hill–which I had to drag out of the driveway on my way to the store.
Last evening, I went out and noted that sometime since the evening before, limbs had fallen from the big pine tree. It finally happened. I wondered why it had taken so long. I could never fathom how the slender threads of bark at the bend and near the end of the limb could keep hanging on. I suppose it is a fitting metaphor for those times when we wonder how someone or something can keep hanging on, until the moment it no longer can.