Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Beech Tree in the Garden

a tree branch floats through the empty sky
the tree before its removal

A monk asked Zhaozhou, "Why did Bodhidharma come from the west?"  (Or...why are things the way they are?)  Zhaozhou replied, "The cypress tree in the garden."

An old beech tree has stood at the entryway to Boundless Way Temple since this property was built in 1908, along with a companion tree on the other side of the driveway.  The tree has been dropping branches for the last couple of years -- dangerous to humans.  We had thought about trimming it down and keeping part of the trunk to carve into a statue, perhaps of Bodhidharma.  But our tree expert told us it was rotted from the inside, which happens to these trees when they get old.  (Sounds familiar!)  So, sadly, it  is getting cut down today, all the way to the ground.  A crew of ten tiny human beings (compared to the huge tree) has spent hours carefully taking pieces of the tree from the top, lowering them with a crane, and chopping them up into wood chips.

pieces too big to hold
The tree existed, and now it no longer exists.  This is the fate of all living beings.  We bow in gratitude to the 100 plus years that this tree shaded and welcomed all who came here, and all who passed by.  We will miss you!

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