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She took the Lightning Hit for Us

October 23, 2018

When we were new in our home I found a small maple tree growing in the narrow gangway between my house and my east neighbour. I tried to pull it out but just ended up stripping the leaves off, so I gave up. Next year there it was again, a little taller, and so I tried again to pull it but just stripped it bare so again I gave up. Come the 3rd year there she was again. I thought, "You are a tough bugger" and I now dug it out and replanted it in the southwest corner of my yard by the garage.

It grew quickly and soon was 15 feet tall with a dense canopy. My mum came for a visit from Australia and she cautioned me that I had planted it too close to the garage and it would eventually cause damage, and that I should cut it down but I could not do it. I told my mum the story of this tough tree and my mum thought me a little crazy! More years and greater height..and now the beauty of fall was displayed by my tough and tenacious tree. The year was 2012.

Summer, and her canopy were huge, and she was at least 30 feet tall. Birds loved her and so did squirrels and all kinds of living things. When I was out one day a storm passed through and lightning struck the tree in its main fork and split the trunk right down to about four inches from the base. When I came home I couldn't see the damage but my west neighbor Joe called to me through the kitchen window and showed me the damage. I was shocked...the canopy was massive and dense with leaves but the tree did not fall..neither on my home nor Joe's garage. I teared up and asked Joe if he thought I could save it. He said to me "probably not but you know that tree took the hit for you." And it was true. I had let her live and she gave her life to save our home from the lightning. I tried to save her but the experts said I could not and when she was cut down.

The man who did this made a cross from her wood. A month later, my mum died in Australia and I placed the small wooden cross with her in her casket. I miss her...her shade and her beauty. I have thought to replace her but it seems wrong to do that somehow. Years later I still look to the corner to see her...but she is no longer there. Thank you for your sacrifice!

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