Okay, not that we thought it was dead--yet, but the news we received (from two sources, just to be sure) was such a relief. Our lightning scarred old Sycamore is going to make it! We didn't believe it at first and are still somewhat skeptical but mostly grateful that we won't be watching, or paying for, our tree to be hacked into pieces and then thrown into a chipper. Along with our hearts (stay with me here).
I'm afraid I'm guilty of telling anyone willing to listen the sad saga of possibly losing our tree. But I'm reluctant to take it all back--it doesn't seem true. Yet. There's a country music song about this knocking around in my head begging to be written. Funny, I don't particularly like country music, but I'm convinced one about loving a tree would be an instant classic.
The girls are so happy with the news that it's still on the short list at prayer time. "Thank you God for saving our tree".
We're considering seriously the news the last two tree companies have given us: it will survive. We've decided to wait until Spring and see what really happens, if it grows leaves and/or fungus. One guy said there is a sort of "band" that we can put on the tree to hold up what he calls the leader limbs and keep them from blowing around too much in case they were weakened by the lightning strike. Think underwire bra (I did).
It was also explained to us that there is a lightning rod system that can be put in place on the tree that will ground any future strikes. Think expensive (Monte did).
We went to Indiana last weekend to see my parents. My hometown, Brownstown, sits on the edge of the Hoosier National Forest. I forget how beautiful it is there this time of year. We went on a short hike in a state forest I've been to a million times. I've hiked, attended church pot-lucks, ice skated when the small pond froze and even hosted a boy-girl s'mores party there when I was 14. But for some reason, I've never taken Monte there (he's not so much the "outdoorsy" type). But he loved it. Ellie said in the middle of the hike, "I'm so glad I'm here! I love hiking!" This being the same girl who threw herself on the floor and refused to put on her shoes when I announced we were going.
We found a tree identification path (yes, we are geeks). It was so much fun guessing what tree was what when the leaves were almost gone or so high up we could barely see them. My dad could identify some by the bark. What Monte and I noticed over and over on the dense path was that none of the trees came close to being as big as ours. Not to brag as proud parents can do, but these trees had scrawny trunks with leaves no bigger than our hand. Our Sycamore requires all four of us to hug it completely and consistently drops leaves as big as our face. (I'm telling you, this song is writing itself!) Granted, some of the trees on our hike were probably mere teenagers. I kept singing in my head the line of the song from Pocahontas: "How high does the Sycamore grow? If you cut it down, you'll never know". We're proud to say we DO know and it's standing in our backyard.
I still look out at the tree when the wind is blowing hard and wonder what truly is holding it together. It's scar is still so evident etched in its bark. Then I say a prayer, deeply comforted it's still there. (Does anyone have Kenny Chesney's phone number?)