My pal is naked. Cavorting in front of me and striking poses which only a pole dancer could emulate, and only a painter could properly honour. His last leaf fell this week. I tried not to feel crushed. Tried to remind myself that he has worked hard for 8 months and now needs rest and recuperation. And yet I need him. I need his steadiness looming high above me with his assured performance. I try not to be surly and sulky. How will I manage without him these next four months?
He reminds me of the giant in The BFG (and if you haven’t read the book I encourage you to take that treat!). In The BFG our giant is the smallest of all the giants. And that is my tree. Although now the biggest around, he was the mini boy when I moved here. There was an enormous tree growing right beside him, almost like it had stood on his foot and he couldn’t leave. When the enormous tree fell over in a storm, my tree looked like he’d been orphaned. And I discovered he was like a butterfly with one wing, so close had the other tree stood. But we’ve stuck together. I willed him to live, willed him to stretch and strengthen. And in turn, he has winked back at me every morning as I open the blinds in my kitchen.
He is not mine. He is not in my garden. But we are pals. And now I stand like a lover on the empty platform as his train leaves the station.
I will of course wait. He will return. I know it. Please hurry.