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Long live the crone

| 20 Aug 2015 | 03:00

I recently had a tree taken down in my backyard. It was a big old Norway maple. It was there when we moved in 25 years ago and it was there when the house was built in 1906. And I know now it was there long before that. There are at least 150 rings on the stump.

But I’m getting ahead of myself in the story. The tree offered shade, beauty, allure, companionship. It was mother-host to birds, squirrels, mosses, lichens. Black cap berries, poison ivy and other vines thrived in an open sunny crotch. Chipmunks and children have scampered over its roots and around its stout trunk. All gone those children, those swings and faerie houses. And now the tree herself. I use female pronouns for all this. I’ve known male trees. This one is female, truly a crone. There’s been a power and a presence and now the end of one form of that. Crones embody a final stage of fertility and regenerativity. It’s when the energy gets released back into the universe. The top chakra opens and things blow out the top. It started happening several years ago to this tree. Those storms and hurricanes snapped off many of her power leaders and branches. More sun got in. Woodpeckers – a sign of vital insect life – were more frequent.

So, it was time, in a 150-year cycle, for a change of presence. Yet we lived hopefully – a few years of magical thinking – with the un-healed storm-scarred leaders and the thinning leaf canopy. Then recently, as I was mowing nearby, a large branch fell and pierced the earth. It was really nearby. I was startled. I felt both blessed and spoken to. Two young children were just moving in next door, surely to play under her old crony overhanging limbs.

Time to move on, adjust, participate in the cycles of nature in yet another way. The crone is gone. Long live the crone tree.

All lives are enringed with the trees. What is your tree tale?