When I first arrived, it seemed to me that those crazy Brazilians sure liked to chop things down a lot.
“That’s a gorgeous, living being!” I gasped.
“Hah. It will grow back,” they said.
Nowhere was the debate strongest than around the base of the huge tree in our back yard. Towering and shady, it was the corner coffee shop for all the local birds and even a few monkies. Its canopy provided the most delicious shade in the heat of summer. You could stand under it in the hardest of rains and not get wet at all.
“You’re nuts! Chop it down!” they said.
“No way!” I bellowed.
So I ate my serving of hippy, humble pie all toasty and warm one morning last year when we awoke to realize that it wasn’t thunder last night, it was part of that gorgeous canopy coming down.
It just missed our car, and shaved off the shed on our outdoor kitchen.
Whew. We counted ourselves VERY LUCKY. We cleared the mess, rebuilt the kitchen roof for the better (really, the tree did us a demolition favor), and we were fine. That could have been so much worse.
I was sold. That tree had to go. It was a public health hazard. Grandpa Crônicas gave the aftermath one sideeye and started parking his car on the other side of the yard.
For the past year Mr. Crônicas and I have been sitting in its shade, eyeing up at that monster, wondering HOW, for the love of God, were we going to chop it back safely before it fell on the house? That gorgeous tree was the Wall Street Big Bank of our backyard–too big to be safe, too big to take down.
And then a torrential storm happened yesterday afternoon. We’re in the middle of a drought. Everyone has been praying for rain for weeks. In retrospect, maybe a little too hard. The rain and winds knocked out power in multiple sections of town and flood waters pulled up street paving stones.
We came home from work that night to find our driveway completely blocked by this:
On closer inspection, it is more than a little amazing.
It didn’t scratch the house.
It didn’t hit the power lines.
It didn’t hit any of the surrounding trees.
And the whole tree came down at once.
Seriously, we couldn’t have paid someone do to it better.
So whatever you call it–guardian angels, Mother Nature, Pachamama, dark matter, whatever–something out there is looking out for us.
And just a little reminder to you: be careful what you ask for. You might just get it.