As the lights flickered during the ice storm of 2014, as they dimmed, the trees outside looked beautiful.
They stood tall; most of them, using the strength they had built up over the decades, fending off the powerful winds and the weight of the ice.
To look at them was to gaze upon nature's chandeliers over and over. You will remember, long sharp icicles hung from the thick proud branches of evergreens and maple trees. Small and medium sized ones covered bushes reflecting another form of elegance within the environment.
I saw a child walk by a low hanging icicle and pull on it, laughing with the outdoors as her playmate. Yet down the block a car lay decrepit, destroyed, under the weight of one of those arms, a massive branch fallen by shards of ice. (Rest in peace arm. We remember the ropes and tires that hung from you.)
The ice storm of 2014 was epic and wonderful.
It was a canvass with few colors, yet the glittering greys and glassy hues created masterpieces found on top of an old mans garage and hanging from the huge insurance building on University avenue.
The ice storm of 2014 was destruction and soullessness.
Wires dangled with contempt and old ladies were carried on young men's shoulders, to safety.
It is now the summer if 2014. It is night and I lie in bed. There is a certain quiet outside my window where the third solstice leaves used to chatter, those attached to an eighty foot tree. It is a quiet. The Maple leaves are still. Odd. Resentfully I get out of bed and hesitantly open the shutters as if I rolling down my car window at a traffic incident.
The leaves are not there. They are gone. The tree is dead. I catch my breath. I am seeing a form of death.
Perhaps I am missing something. There is no moon overhead. Am I simply blind to the leaves? It is possible there is no wind out tonight? Maybe it's too early on for the leaves to have grown?
Seconds passed. My head drops. I think back to the ice storm and realize it has killed something I so loved, a sound that soothed me; a sight that reminded me of the freedom nature lends to our lives.
How was I to know that with the magnificence of the ice storm, destruction ran ramped in ways I had considered, in ways that would change things forever outside my window, for me and for others?
The leaves were indeed gone and would be always and there was nothing I could do to repair that. The trees that nourished them were gone. I couldn't bring them back. The shutters closed. I lay back down. I was mourning the passing of my leaves. I truly was.
Anger seized me. I began taking the ice storm and its unfettered attack on my trees, on my leaves, personally. Days passed and I hoped for their resurrection but that never came. The trees were dotted with white marks, a sort of rigor-mortis in nature.
Today I look out the window and still feel the loss. I want the leaves to come back but they won't until or unless the tree is sawed down and a new one planted. I'm not sure if I want that as the old tree still gives me comfort.
The icicles from the storm of 2014 were killing the tree. They were cleansing the leaves out of existence; I should have fought for those leaves. I should have draped myself around my trees. But that was not the case.
The death of my leaves came quietly.