I woke this morning to the sound of chainsaws and to my horror found the powers that be were cutting down the branches of the tree outside my office window. It’s not in my garden so there was nothing I could do, but watch as it was stripped of its lush branches. Hours later its been reduced to a stalk, its limbs jutting like skeleton arms towards an unforgiving, grey sky. I know some will think, “So what, it’s just a tree,” but its not. I watched it grow over twenty years from a sapling to a might elm. Its branches was home to countless generations of birds. Their nests now lie like dark blood spots on the green grass and the owners circle the stump in confusion. Not only did it hang with leaves and blossoms, but in its youth it was a climbing frame for many of the neighborhood boys. If I close my eyes I can see them hanging upside down by the ankles, glossy hair swinging as they screamed with life and laughter. Those little faces are lost to me now, the boys all grown and scattered to the four corners of the world. I judged the seasons by its leaves and watched as it grew from bud to green, then orange, red and gold. It will, no doubt, recover and come to life in time, but I will miss its familiar greeting, when I open the blinds each morning and the birdsong. Ah, that I will miss most of all.