Living in This World


When we speak of being "uprooted," we usually mean something more like transplanted. I, for instance, am a transplanted Southerner who found a new home in New England. Uprooting connotes a violence, a suddenness, a shock to the system so great that death is nearly inevitable.

At one end of our street there is a high chain link fence. I’m not sure who put it there or when. Our little enclave consists of four short streets running from a major artery through City By the Sea to a stopping point above a well-traveled vein, a street of smaller houses, not so old or so well-preserved. The dead ends and the fence divide us from the dwellers down below.

The dead end receives many visits from the city snow plow, which smashes a block’s worth of snow against the fence. I first noticed what looked like a huge pile of dirt mounded up against
the fence, a curious sight. We took the dogs down the street, and I
realized the fence had risen up out of the ground.

"Is there a tree at the end of the block?"

The Princess nodded, "Yes, on the other side of the fence."

The storm pulled down branches and wires and flooded cars and
washed away homes and tore off a roof here and there, it also uprooted a
tree. The "pile of dirt" was the base of the tree, upended, exposed. The tree filled the yard of the house down below. Beneath it a drain in a curb covered for many months by snow received the run off of rain and last melting, a plash of weeping.

Uprooted, the tree will have to be removed, like the bodies of the men and women killed far away this morning, ended by an unnatural form of violence. We cannot control a storm. We cannot control each other, or will not. We cannot control ourselves.

(Edited to add: I hope you’ll go see what Sherry has to say about uprooting.)

1 thought on “Uprooted”

Leave a Reply