Something happened today that made me think of the old question: If a tree falls in the forest…
I wasn’t in a forest, exactly, but Captain Jack and I were walking on a wooded section of the Minuteman Bikeway, and we’d paused while Jack sniffed something. I heard a sudden, very loud CRACK-K-K-K! and turned to see a large, full-grown tree crash down across the path, about fifty feet from where we were standing. I just stood there with my mouth open, wondering, What the—? and feeling extremely grateful that I’d been standing here and not there. A woman on the other side of the tree no doubt felt the same way. From what I could see of the base of the trunk, it appeared that the roots had rotted or broken away or something, and the tree had just been waiting for the right moment to fall.
A minute later, a group of bicyclists rode up, saying to each other, “That wasn’t there an hour ago!” I told them it wasn’t there five minutes ago. I called the police to ask them to notify the town tree people, and then I took these pictures.
For the rest of the day, I mulled the event over, wondering what dreamlike or theological significance I should give to it. The only thing I’m sure of is, there was definitely a sound when this tree fell.