Sunday, December 27, 2009


As my unfortunate followers have discovered, my thoughts are infrequently recorded on the virtual page. Certain events, however, merit the permanence of the written word.

One such event took place on December 13th. The three of us, my wife, child, and self, set forth on a journey of such magnitude, such import, that to leave it unrecorded would be criminal. Let us begin.

On a cold December morning, my wife and I debated the merits of an "old-fashioned" Christmas tree (freshly taken from the woods) versus one carefully groomed, shaped, and purchased from a tree farm. After careful consideration, it was determined that we should pursue the former, due to its homey and unrefined appeal. It was thus that we embarked on a snow-laden journey into the imposing woodlands of Minot, Maine.

Many trees were observed, carefully reviewed, and discarded as decidedly non-viable options. My wife and I were the principal judges, as our 4 month old daughter was unable to offer any intelligible insight . . . yet. She was, however, in attendance, swaddled close to her mother inside a winter coat. She seemed quite content.

The snow fell. It was a blustery and fearsome storm, one which could send the most hardened New England woodsman scrambling for cover. We pressed on, though we were not hardened, nor were we woodsmen. We were, however, loving parents in search of the perfect tree for their daughter's first Christmas. Whether or not she cared about the tree or would notice it at all was an unimportant consideration, one which was quickly swept aside by parental passion which bordered on madness.

We searched. Oh, how we searched. The perfect tree was out there, somewhere. We were certain of it. As we sorted through one unsatisfactory candidate after another, we soon began to doubt the soundness of our plan. We spent hours in the Maine wood that day, so turned about that we hardly knew where we were anymore. We knew only one thing for sure . . . the Tree was out there. Beckoning. Mocking.

It was the morning of the 14th when we finally saw it. I had just crested a ridge when it came into view. Well, that's not entirely accurate. In truth it had been in view all the time, as the Tree was the upper 10 feet of a fearsome beast of a tree that seemed to stretch for days. I stared at my hands for almost that long, grimly noting that the only tools at my disposal were a hacksaw and a small hatchet. It was time to get to work.

Blow after blow was struck, but still Leviathan remained. I took solace in only one fact. The Tree was ours. It had to be. It would be. There could be no other ending. The hatchet grew heavy in my hand as I hacked away at the massive trunk before me. I grew weary, exhausted even, but I continued to struggle against this terrible force of nature. At several points I became delirious, and I saw visions, dear readers, that you would not believe even if I described them to you. In my bests moments, I began to doubt that Leviathan would ever fall. In my worst, I doubted my very existence.

On the afternoon of the 15th, Leviathan finally toppled to the ground. It had been three days, but the sweetness of this victory could not be measured in mere units of time. We quickly secured the upper 10 feet of the monster. The Tree was ours.

We still sometimes catch ourselves thinking about the Tree, even today. We think about it whenever we gaze at our daughter's smile, knowing that, but for a certain wooden beast, things may have been quite different. Quite different, indeed.

1 comment:

  1. John, somehow I missed this post. So glad I found it now, though- you're a great writer! I hope you'll treat us with more "written words" soon. : )