The Old Tree

There were many things on our wish list when we were shopping for a home five years ago. One which wasn’t but has become a favorite feature of mine is an old dead tree about one hundred yards from the house.

It must’ve been something in its day. Bordered on both sides by the contrasting lengths of full, green vibrant trees, it stands in the otherwise unoccupied space on the corner of our property.

It’s been an unexpected gift. In its extensive bare branches, I’ve seen birds ranging from majestic bald eagles, to hawks, owls to wakes (I had to look up what a gathering of them was called) of turkey vultures with their wings spread out to warm themselves in the sun.

As the rest of the property is surrounded by woods, I’ve enjoyed watching many sunsets behind its silhouetted limbs.

Now it’s down to half the size or less of what it was when we arrived. It makes me sad to know that someday it will be down completely. No more lengthy branches reaching up to give rest to resident or transient birds. To draw my gaze whenever I look out the window to see what it might contain.

But tonight when I stepped outside, I heard the piping call of a raptor. Sure enough, when I looked around, there in my tree was an immature eagle.

Seeing it there was just another gift from this treasured tree. An old dead tree has unexpectedly taught me to look at things in a different way.

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