the dark star tree

I was not going to write here today, for I fear I leave you often overladen with all my words. But we received very sad news last night, and I feel drawn to tell the story of it.

The great pine tree which presides like a king over our neighbourhood is to be cut down.

I understand the reasons why, but this does not ease my shocked grief, or my concern for the tree. It lives behind a neighbour's house, so I don't have any way to reach it, touch it, whisper prayers and perhaps give it some warning of what is to come. The demolition will take all day, says my neighbour. It will be a slow and torturous death for a magnificent being.

When we first moved into this house, the tree gave me consolation, as there is not much nature here, for all that we have a forest and an ocean within walking distance, and for all that the voice of a nearby river, dark and haunted, murmurs all night long - we are immediately surrounded by the concrete pragmatism of suburbia. Because of this, I considered calling our house Pine Star Cottage, and although I chose another name instead, the tree has continued to be beloved to me, its spirit strengthening and encouraging me.

It is the landmark for home, even from miles away. It is shelter for birds, for winds; it draws stories from the river and sheds them into the most beautiful, peaceful sunsets at the end of long summer days. I can imagine the old wisdoms it must share beneath the earth with other, smaller, trees and bushes. I will not be the only one to feel its loss.

I can do nothing to prevent this killing. I can do nothing to ease the tree's passing and the pain I know it will feel. I can only grieve.


  1. Oh no!!! I grieve with you. It just wrenches my heart when tree souls are ripped away.

  2. I'm sorry. It is beautiful. I've always like that kind of tree, they plant them in parts of California, but I've always wondered the species. I do empathize, having lost one recently; it was old for this home, surely not as old as yours. Hugs and prayers for both of you.

  3. Unspeakably sad. But you can ask the earth to carry your message to its roots. And beyond the physical there is no space between you. Sending light from here too. X

    1. Thank you, a wonderful idea - I much appreciate the advice. And the reminder that there is no space between any of us, not really.

  4. It will be a huge loss. I'm so sorry.

  5. Yes...sometimes grief is all we have to give. So very sorry.

  6. Thank you so much everybody. xx

  7. This is deeply saddening. I do understand the grief that is the loss of such a tree well.

    Perhaps, along with your palpable love for the tree it was Jo's words also, (that there is no space between you but the physical) that prompted Neruda's words to pop into my head. I don't know...

    "At night I dream that you and I are two plants
    that grew together, roots entwined,
    and that you know the earth and the rain
    since we are made of earth and rain".

    (hugs) xxx

  8. I'm so sorry. Pines are my favorite, they're the only trees that grew higher than power poles in my native tropics. My heart dropped when I read your news. :(

  9. Oh no, what heart-dropping sadness, the passing of a friend, this lofty being who has been long years in the growing. Maybe you can plant a tree in your own yard (or somewhere else) in honor and memory of the star pine. And for healing.