Shiver Me Timbers!

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You’ve heard the age-old query: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Not quite a mile as the crow flies from our home, there were plenty of people around to hear the sound of this tree as recent gale-force winds roared through our town. I expected to see branches down everywhere as I drove to HolEssence, but I was taken by surprise—and dismayed—to see that this beautiful old tree (twins sharing one trunk) had fallen victim to the whim of the churlish wind.

When was the last time the winds of life shivered your timbers?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

23 thoughts on “Shiver Me Timbers!

  1. Laurie coming from an area which often has high winds during the winter I am sometimes amazed by the number of trees that stay standing. However, there are times a big old branched friend hits the ground with a resounding thud.

    This morning David and I slipped into Miners Bay for breakfast at our local bakery. Delicious! Upon leaving the winds of life shivered our timbers as a little re convertible VW went zipping backwards so the driver could grab a parking spot only to hit a silver van that was in its blindspot. We were on the steps to leave and the accident happened directly in front of us. Not a common sight on an island with only 1,100 people. There were good sized dings in the VW and some scratches on the van. No one was hurt but the driver of the VW was very upset. In true Mayne Island style the driver of the van gently put her hand on his arm and in a very calm voice went about taking down contact information after they got parked. We continued to Miss Prissy knowing it was a close call and that most importantly, people were fine. Luck was on our side.

    • Terrill – Hula Burgers! Those particular winds of life we’re a wee bit close for comfort. I’m so glad that you and David are A-O-K and that the other folks are okay too.

  2. The winds in the blogosphere are blowing a gala in my little world. Point number one–my attempt to post several photos on my blog today. Point number two–my attempt to reply to your kind comments on my blog. Thank you so much for them, Laurie. Here I go to try again. Wish me luck.

    • LeanneAhhhhhhh, you’re comment made it through safe and sound. I love technology when everything “under the hood” is running smooth as silk. However, when it’s misbehaving, I’ve been known to pitch a hissy fit!

  3. This domestic misfortune immediately brings to mind the sad event that Missourians endured this past week. In any case the loss of a tree, especially an old one that has achieved landmark status in the community, is always a time to lament. A towering oak on the property of my next door neighbor was chopped down last year, depriving some of the neighborhood kids of shade, and the adults of a scenic umbrella. I remember the day they took it down, and that sent shivers down my spine. Similarly there was a petition drive in a nearby town to save a giant tree. Even an active congresswoman (Loretta Weinberg) led the charge to save the long-time landmark. So far her efforts have halted plans.

    • Sam – I’m glad to hear that the efforts of congresswoman Loretta Weinberg have at least halted plans thus far. I like to hear stories like that. Years ago, on the opposide of the protected wetlands behind our home, a housing developer came in with equipment and felled dozens of of huge trees. The people in our neighborhood stood horror-stricken as we watched the trees go through the chipper. We learned later that the developer had a permit to relocate them, not destroy them. He had to pay a ginormous fine before he could start building. I’m sure that was just a drop in the bucket for him — a slap on the hand.

  4. My timbers were shivered when my friend and Rolfer was diagnosed with a malignent brain tumor. They were shivered even more when she died w/in 20 days of the diagnosis. Sunday they were shivered again during her Celebration of Life ceremony, and again yesterday as I drove her ashes to Cherry Cove on the Blue Ridge Parkway and let the wind have their way with her. Yes indeed I felt that shiver as those ashes took flight, before the wind turned, spewing them all over me. Today though, as we began the teardown of her beautiful country home my timbers stopped shivering, hers too I hope.

  5. Sad to lose a old friend tree – I know, we are trying to root stock our 100 year old Gravenstein because of the fabulous flavor, but it is getting scary, rotted old inside.

    We moved into this very old wee house on July 4th in the middle of a huge rain-wind storm. As we all huddled in our sleeping bags that first night ( 3 children 2 parents, bunk bed and Queen size) all in the living room, the 8 other mammoth vintage fruit trees proceeded to drop massive branches all night long – missing the house but decking the porches. It was quite a show and changed our plans for what to do with this old house tremendously.
    We were here to hear – What a crashing, splitting, amazing sound it was.

    To everything there is a season even trees

  6. Hi, Laurie — I am in Rome, Italy, with Jonathan. Yesterday, we visited the Colliseum, infamous for the thousands of people and animals who died there in the name of sport. It was 85 degrees and I was sweating, but shivered within the Colliseum as I realized I was standing on the same ground and seeing the same bricks and mortar which were the last things those people and animals saw before they died. I am working on a blog about my venture here in the Eternal City.

  7. It is sad when the wind fells a beauty like this one, Laurie. An ancient soul, returning to the earth.

    My timbers are shivered every day when I release another mental concept or belief or integrate an emotional charge. Big inner trees falling!

  8. Ah the poor trees. Dogmatix would be heartbroken.
    We created a tree trail round our neighbourhood composed of trees that had special meaning for locals, rather than for their size or appearance. Some poignant explanations of why different trees were nominated.

  9. Lots of wild winds in the Dakotas … today it’s supposed to howl at about 40 mph … step outside, hair flies in a million directions! So much for worrying about appearance 🙂 Wind power is becoming popular, lots of wind turbines popping up in MN, IA, NEB, SD, ND. So I don’t know what to think or write about the wind — although, I published a poem about it once … I guess I can share it here (it’s also @ SunnyRoomStudio) …

    “When the Wind Blows”

    Sensing the unseen when the wind blows,
    part of me flinches with uncertainty,
    an aura of change and disruption brought
    on by bustling tree branches, strands of
    hair draped across my face, leaves dancing
    across the yard as if rushing off somewhere,
    yet, the blowing wind can also refresh and
    invigorate the far reaches of my soul,
    reminding me without a word to move around,
    to begin, to run, not walk, to live my life fully
    before time has run dry — the wind stilled in
    my ears, as if forced to stop. — by d.a. hickman

  10. Hi Laurie,

    We get lots of wind here in Kaikoura.
    Last week we had gust of about 60 knots. Yesterday morning about 2am a squall came through gusting about 45 knts, though the rest of the day was calm.
    This morning it is more of a steady SW about 15 knts), and the temperature is dropping. Within a few hours the winds direct from antarctica will hit us, and it will get very cold.

    Coming from a strong nautical tradition, the term shiver ma timbers, seems to come from a boat breaking up under a sailor – so it is an expression of surprise and annoyance at an event unwanted yet beyond one’s immediate control. In that sense, it is usually the indirect consequences of wind, like a huge rouge wave, or being driven onto a rock or a lee shore in a gale, that is the root of the expression (perhaps in time of conflict a cannon ball or ramming spike).

    On the more mundane, we had two old trees blow down on our section about 2 years ago. I was playing golf at the time, and the wind was so strong that I was twice blown off the tee on the 13th. That had never happened before nor since. Peak gusts well over 70 knots.
    I got home to find Jewelia’s tree house on the ground.

    • Ted – Good heavens! I’m surprised that you folks down there still have hair on your heads! You’re absolutely right about it being a nautical term. How do I know this? Popeye (the sailor man) says it 🙂

      The closest I’ve ever come to being Mary Poppins’d was years ago when Len and I were flying a French military box kite over by Lake Michigan. We had that puppy waaaaaaaaay higher than we should have. When it was time to reel it it, I was using my leather-gloved hands to pull down the line and create slack with my weight so Len could reel it in with less tension. It picked me up off the ground — surprising the bajeebers out of me!

  11. Pingback: Shiver me timbers | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

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