The Empty Picture

The Sequoia next door is being removed.  It is a healthy, magnifient tree that must be at least four centuries old.  It has stood guard in our neighborhood, first watching the natives fish by the lake, then the Europeans as the trickled, one by one, to the waters edge. 

It wears the neighborhood “star” which is lighted each Christmas during a holiday gathering of friends living over a three block range surrounding the tree.

I wanted to take a photograph of the tree before the process of bringing it down began, but it started early yesterday morning.  By the time I made to the street, a good portion of the Sequoia’s branches had been stripped from one side.

I pointed my camera several tmes, hands trembling at the thought of loosing this old friend who had looked down upon my yard for as long as I’d lived in the neighborhood, watched my children grow and my mother pass away.  I couldn’t manage to push the shutter button.

The idea was to take a before and after shot.

This morning, the tree was down.  The opportunity to take the pictures was over.  I realized then that the real shot was there. 

Before the tree, and after. 

The photograph was the same….