An old and much-loved Maple in our backyard came down in a storm the other night. It had been visibly ill for a few years but, when it went, didn’t just bend silently to the ground. Instead, it broke with a mighty crack as if defiant ’til the end of age and storm and illness.

They’re coming to remove it today. About three hours of work, they said. Life is like that sometimes; years of growth gone in a seeming instant.

That tree served us well. My kids climbed and swung on its branches. Birds nested and squirrels chased one another in its leafy arms. It sheltered our pond-fish from the osprey’s eye, and us from the sun.

I watched, just now, as a robin, fresh from its bath, preened itself on a now-low branch that used to stretch toward the sky.

The robin only perceived a Difference, not loss, in this great Change that I mourn. It did not stop for days, frozen in consideration.

Instead, it saw only new opportunity, accepted it, and, without hesitation, adapted.

I’m appreciative of the lesson.