Captain Mom's Log: Week 8: Day 50

The grass is tall and the leaves crunch beneath our feet despite the sporadic onslaught of rain we have had over the past week. Our legs begin to sweat under cover of long pants. Such discomforts are small in comparison to the benefits of avoiding tick encounters. Chief Mate whacks the vines and plants that threaten our passage. I carry the saw. Our mission, which we chose to accept, is "Free the Tree."
Down the hill, through the broken fence, across the tick grass stands the lonely tulip tree. It is young and still fighting for life in the vicious forest. Trees are silent as they vie for sun. A hundred-year-old brute will hog the sun, in essence, squelching the life out of its own saplings. It knows that with the next season, there will be plenty more offspring to resume the cyclical competition for life.
With our help, Lonely Tulip stands a chance. It is young. I can just barely touch my fingertips around its small trunk. There are no suffocating parents nearby. But there is one very dead tree that has dug itself into the young trunk. Likely felled by storm, it lies across Lonely Tulip, causing it to grow parallel to the ground.
"There it is!" Chief Mate exclaimed. "It's still there. Free the Tree!"
I take the saw and begin my work. Something about the zip, zip, zip brings warmth to my heart. I have to stop a few times to catch my breath.
"How much more to go?" Chief Mate is dancing about rejoicing in Tree's soon-to-be freedom.
"Halfway, kiddo."
I swat the gnats that have gathered, attracted by my sweat. Gross.
"Stand back," I add.
Zip, zip, zip.
It really is the most satisfying sound in the world. That and anything involving a glass bottle.
"Almost there!"
Zip, zip, ziiiip.
Half of Dead Tree falls to the ground. I lift the remainder and toss it off of its prisoner. I can feel Lonely Tulip sigh.
"It's free!!!"
Chief Mate parades around. Then stops short.
"Why isn't it growing straight?"
I laugh.
"Things take time, kiddo. It will. It just needs to adjust to its new lifestyle."
The walk home is riddled with gnats.
Swat. Swat. Swat. Spit.
It's cool and bug-free inside. And it feels amazing to sit down. Accomplished, even.



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