Tears For A Tree And A Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell Sings Me A Lullaby

Life is but a short while.  A blink of any eye.  A breath.  A sunset.

Every single day something begins and something ends.  Like the day and the night.  Like a fleeting moment… a second, a minute… an hour.  All gone, never to return.  Only to exist in memory or deed.

One day you’re standing tall and the next you are lying flat, split in two… waiting to be disassembled… chopped up… used for who knows what.  Hopefully something good, something positive.  Perhaps you can be used to put something back together.  Sadly, one cannot say the same about you.

As I drove to the groomers this morning, to drop off Bozie for her long overdue cut and bath, I noticed a Sheriff’s car blocking the road.  I looked to my left to see a huge tree spread out over most of the street.  I immediately knew exactly what tree it was…

It was a landmark, a visual cue, something, surprisingly I did NOT take for granted each and every time I saw it, because it was kind of marvel.  It grew out of a hillside and in order to balance itself, to keep itself anchored, it was in the shape of an “L”… A glorious pine that formed an even more glorious, green umbrella over the street, like a tunnel or a one-color rainbow… It seemed to float.

Even given its precarious position in life, it seemed stable… secure… invincible.  I have no idea how long it had been there, other than the nine years I have known it.  And I never once doubted that it would stand until well I after I left.  Maybe I did take it for granted.  After all, it was always there.  And maybe that is a problem.  Maybe every so often we need to acknowledge life’s fleeting nature.  The impermanence of things… And yes death, for things are not always there, even when we think they will be.  So we should take nothing for granted.  Assume nothing… but cherish each and every moment, each and every note, each and every taste and breath and sight.

For today, like too many things in life, it is gone.  Literally split in half.  The Sheriff’s car guards it like a crime scene, awaiting for the coroner to make its determination of the cause of death.  Really they are waiting for county workers or a local tree grooming company to come and chop it up… and haul it away.  It… That sounds wrong… So maybe she… Why not… She is no longer.  Where she was, where she stood will be an empty space… a hole and perhaps a stump… but the green pine needles, the huge flowing arms once filled with birds and bees will eventually turn brown and wither.

She was planted in the sand.  Now she no longer stands.

She gave us shade.  Underneath her we played.

Defying gravity for too short a time.  She was sublime.

Seeing that tree down actually moved me to tears.  I know, I know… “You’re way too emotional,” you might say.  “Dude.”  “Really.”

I know it may be more than just about the tree, that my emotions or nerves or whatever may be exposed and a little too close to the surface right now… but it sparked something… Thankfully not a fire, no.  It sparked a moment, a remembrance, a flood of thoughts.

So today’s song is for a tree.  And I do not think that is odd… not one bit.

No need to discuss the song either, now that you know what prompted the listen… Just let it wash over you.  Just let yourself really hear it… and remember the tree, ANY tree… One that swung you, or housed you, or tree-housed you or shaded you, or allowed you to recline on her trunk and dream.

Joni Mitchell – “Big Yellow Taxi”


1 Comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

One response to “Tears For A Tree And A Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell Sings Me A Lullaby

  1. Great post. Trees live and mark the time. Every Monday in spring and summer we do a five mile hike along the Upper Winter Creek Trail from Chantry Flat up above Sierra Madre. You should come sometime. It’s beautiful and makes us think we are on the road to Rivendell from LOTR. Generally there are seven to ten people on the hike and we stop halfway at Hogie Campground to share snacks. The other day we noticed at Hogie that a large tree had fallen. Unlike a residential area here that tree will lay across the ground and continue to have its place in the life of the forest, continuing to mark the time.

    Ah, Ladies of the Canyon. One of the first albums I bought with money out of my own Saturday afternoon pay packet from my first job, a Newberry’s in Uptown Whittier. From Lovell’s. A dying breed, the independent music store. Lovell’s lives on, though. Marking the time.

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