I had been procrastinating for two years. The time had come and it was over in minutes when it did happen; the pine tree that had stood as a sentinel at the Stanton front fence was down.
Two pine trees grew up together after they were planted 70 metres from the house in 1919. An old man who once lived at Back River and walked past Stanton on his way to Back River school as a boy remembered seeing them as small trees. He is still alive, now in his early 90′s as when I last saw him he was the human equivalent of the other still standing pine; gnarled, solid, wizened and healthy. As things go around here both of them will follow the first tree into the next life, its inevitable but that’s ok.
The fallen tree as it turned out was senescent and a hazard to man and beast. At 27 metres it was making a big statement about its position here at Stanton and I am mildly smirkful (I like this strange word) when thinking about myself being a menace to the public at age 91. Still. I didn’t want him killing my neighbours in the night; one of whom is Nathan our cabinet maker. Another is new this month, freshly arrived from Kalgoorlie, WA. Do they have trees there?
My thoughts about the two old men of Stanton watching over its entrance are possibly incorrect but they make sense to me. Most of the trees here at Stanton are Macrocarpa but these two boys are Radiata, very different lads indeed. Moreover, the white cockatoos clamour about the Macrocarpa while the black cockatoos prefer to squark in the Radiata. Some things are perhaps black and white after all. I believe it would have been a great gesture if these two odd trees were planted here together during 1919 in remembrance of those men from the New Norfolk area who did not return from a war few people understood but clearly presented to all painful memories shared around a small country town. No one can explain why the trees are, or were together out in the open. I like my idea about it all.
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