The sky is bigger by half above the yard where touchdown passes were caught and little boy dreams of football stardom were made.
The mosaic of brilliant blue and green divided by twigs and lithe branches is gone, undone in a roaring 60 minutes of flying sawdust. Forty seasons of baby birds and squirrels scrabbling up and down have come to a close.
Undone by years of twisting winds this tired maple was held together by the filament of bird nests and a foot-long bolt drilled through its trunk to mend a terrible wound from 20 years ago which never really healed.
Part of the rhythm of my life is to check the tree for a weather report or just to see what shapes and colors it will share.
Today is clear, with no chance of shade.
Handsome Husband, always the optimist, ventures that this change will bring opportunity, and he is right, of course. Games of catch were outgrown anyway and there will be one less tree-full of leaves to rake this fall. Next year we'll start over with sun-loving flowers and saplings that hold the promise of shade and decades of reaching for the sky.