Goodbye, Old Friend



Tree Hugger

Yesterday morning I said goodbye to an old friend – a friend that I’ve held in high regards for over three years.

For the three weeks prior to yesterday, the majority of my time has been consumed with the chores, errands, and odds and ends of moving.  Everything else has been temporarily placed on hold.  No blogging.  No writing.  No playing guitar.  No canoeing…  No fun.  Instead, my family and I have been packing the majority of our belongings into a storage unit near our house.  We’ve donated an old car, found a sitter for our cat, and worked long hours every day tending to the administrative and logistical nightmares involved with moving.  After it was all finished, we loaded our truck and trailer with our essential gear, and prepared to leave the house that we have called home for just over three years.

Before we loaded ourselves into the truck and pulled out of our driveway for the last time, I took a few minutes to say goodbye to my friend.  Behind our previous residence stands an old hickory tree.  Since my first winter in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the hickory has been a huge part of mine and my family’s life.  Throughout that winter and the subsequent colder months, we’ve hung a large bird–feeder from the hickory’s branches so that we could watch the cardinals, blue jays, thrushes, sparrows, and woodpeckers from our dining room door.  During the warmer months, the hickory stood as one of two anchor points for our hammock.  And each autumn, the hickory attracted countless squirrels that frolicked along its trunk and gathered its nuts for the winter.  We’ve all loved watching the wildlife that frequents the old hickory.

More than anyone else in my family, I have enjoyed the minute details of the tree.  When the stresses of modern life have grown too great, I have spent hours staring through our dining room door and studying the various stages of the hickory’s life.  Pages upon pages of my journal are filled with observations and drawings that detail the tree’s yearly cycle.

Of everything about our previous residence, I’ll miss my old hickory, my old friend, the most, and I couldn’t resist giving it one last hug before driving towards the mountains.

Do you have fond memories of any particular trees?  Were there any that brought joy to your life or provided something special for you or your family?  If so, I’d love to hear about it!

***  As I wrote this post, a hummingbird has buzzed past me several times, interrupting my writing.  I can’t wait to tell you about the next step of our adventure!


7 thoughts on “Goodbye, Old Friend

  1. If only more of us hugged trees…
    Great post – and you’ve left us in suspense!
    I’ve moved around so much, that getting to know a specific tree hasn’t happened. I do know that my favourite times camping have always been in woods and forests.
    Enjoy your adventure!

    • Thank you, sir. It’s been a hectic few weeks. Sorry if I’ve missed any of your posts. Even now, internet access is spotty at best.

      I’ve got an outdoor adventure book recommendation post coming tomorrow. Hopefully after that I’ll have the time and internet access to get the next post about our grand adventure published.

      As always, thanks for visiting and thanks for commenting. I’ll be looking forward to going back and reading your latest posts!

  2. Hi Duncan!
    Moving is so hectic. I hope you will be settling down and return to a new “normal” soon. I’ve moved 8 times in the past 16 years and do not plan on going anywhere else. I hope and pray I am finally home.
    Your story about the tree brings a fuchsia crape myrtle back home in the yard where I grew up. In 4th grade we had a school project in which we had to adopt a tree. I chose that tee because I use to climb in that tree. The project was to take pictures and collect samples in a diary throughout the seasons of the school year. I got a 100 A++ on my project (probably the only time that every happened). That tree has been cut back several times since then and one all the way back to nothing but trunk. It is still thriving in my mama’s yard today. The beauty of it is I have a small sapling growing in my yard today. Thankfully the deer do not think of it as a tasty treat.

    • Indeed, moving is hectic. Life has been turned upside down for the past several weeks, but it seems that things are finally getting better.

      I’m not familiar with fuchsia crape myrtles so I’ll have to do some research on them. I’m always excited to learn about new trees!

      Thanks for visiting and thanks for commenting! Whenever I have reliable internet access again, I’ll visit your site and read your recent posts that I’ve missed over the past several weeks.

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