Late one evening last winter, a tree fell down behind our house. It was at the edge of the back meadow, and had been ailing, though that had not yet been apparent to us.
Weirdly, although that meadow is RIGHT under our bedroom window, and we had just gone to bed about five minutes earlier, we didn’t even hear the tree fall. Mark’s mom was staying with us then–in the guest bedroom on the first floor, beneath our bedroom–and she certainly heard it. She got up and wandered all around the dark house, trying to figure out what large thing had fallen over, in the kitchen maybe.
It was only the next morning when it got light that we all realized, Ohhh. Not inside. Outside.
Fortunately, and kind of amazingly, it didn’t hit anything important on its way down. It missed the house; it missed the fences and the gates; it missed some lovely large maple trees, and a tiny Japanese maple we planted and have been carefully tending since we moved here. It skimmed a few branches out of its neighbor, a spindly fir tree, and then it landed very politely (if loudly) (or so I’m told) in the open meadow.
Huh, we said. Look at that. We should do something about that.
Time passed. I mean, it was winter; it wasn’t in the way of anything. No rush.