There are men in trees outside my window. Strapping young men, swinging from the branches in the rain, wielding chainsaws, systematically disposing of one of the macrocarpas at the corner of our driveway. One of the features I’ve always loved about our house is the presence of these four giant trees, sheltering us from the cold and strong southerlies. There used to be another tree directly south, but a former neighbour took that out about 15 years ago. Now the neighbours below us have decided to remove the tree at the corner. It was necessary, I will admit that. A huge branch extended out over the roof of their house, and especially the room their daughter occupies. They lived in fear that something might go wrong in one of Wellington’s storms. Not to mention that as the tree grew, it was starting to lift our concrete driveway, cantilevered out from the hill. It had to go. And so yesterday, today, and probably the rest of the week at least, I sit in my office, and listen to the high-pitched noise of the chainsaws and the great roar of the mulcher machine that chews these enormous branches, and I cringe as they drop, bit by bit, great logs of wood that must weigh a tonne on our poor little driveway, shaking the house, but hopefully not the driveway supports.
And so the view out my office window changes day by day. Though to be honest, it is the changed view through these windows (below) that I will notice more often. And I worry about the tui. Did they have nests in that tree? I do hope not.
Change can be good. But this makes me feel that too many things are changing at the moment. Little things, and big things, good things and bad things. Changing technology. The drought has broken, and autumn has chased summer away. Employment situations are changing, and that is scary. Elderly parents are deteriorating, and need more care. And we’re getting older too. So right now, my husband and I are forced into embracing the belief that change can be good. But it also brings some sadness at what we’re losing.
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
But I guess we have to heed the words of Bowie,
turn and face the strange.