Or, so thought I.
My new neighbors didn't agree. They bought the house in late summer, and last week, hired a crew to come and take out the tree. It was their tree; I couldn't argue with them. Yes, it was close to the house, yes, if it came down both of us were going to lose a good chunk of roof.
But the tree was healthy, and sycamore trees aren't prone to falling unless they're old - and a good arborist can tell what kind of shape it's in. I even offered to pay for the testing and a good trimming, but my words fell on deaf ears.
She was afraid of it, towering over the house. Fear won and the tree is gone.
I've been disturbed by its absence all week. I walk out of the house and the gaping hole in the sky cries its anguish. I mourn the irreplaceable loss.
And, I'm uncharacteristically petty about it all, sending ill wishes across the fence. I hope their cooling bills shoot through the roof (I'm sure they'll go up by a good 20%). I hope their basement floods with every rain (also a good chance of happening - the house has water problems anyways, and I know the tree drank a lot of the water that drained into the yard from all the houses up the hill).
I'm trying hard to forgive them, but thus far, no go.
I'm tired of fear winning over innocence.
Eventually, I'll grit my teeth, and bring them over some Christmas cookies anyways.
But, this year at least, my heart won't be in it.