The Ash tree story.

The Wabanaki Indian tribes, who craft their baskets from ash splints, have a tradition that humans were first created from black ash trees as well. The Chitimacha Indians believed ash was poisonous to rattlesnakes and would use ash canes to drive away snakes. Some Great Plains tribes, such as the Ponca, used green ash wood instead of cottonwood for their sacred Sun Dance poles. ~ http://www.native-languages.org/ash-tree.htm

An Ash tree is being cut down tomorrow in our neighborhood. My neighbor told me so as she walked by one evening while I was outside.  Shock quickly ran throughout my body as a strange sad sensation.

From my yard I can see the Ash tree. It’s been home to hawks and ravens and many other animals over the years. It is a family of two other giant Ash trees on our neighbor’s property.

We too have one in our front yard which stands about 12 feet. It is only a two-year-old. Our gardener and I are watching the tree closely. It is being trimmed and we will not let it get too big or start the process of spreading its multitude of seeds.

We now also have a fence on either side of our yard of Ash trees that are groomed to be just that.

Today I walked by the neighbor’s home and talked to her about the tree. It was growing into their homes foundation and there are issues of telephone and electrical lines. I told her.

“I hope you don’t mind me saying a prayer for the tree. I know of the hawk and ravens who live there.”

We agreed it was the best thing to do. I walked away happy. Then this story revealed itself to me.

The Ash tree story.

My parents planted an Ash tree near their home the day one of my brother’s was born. He is two years older than I.

Growing up with that Ash tree is something I sure did enjoy. Out of my parent’s second story house I often looked out at the tree throughout the seasons. There once were some steps that ran by the tree from the hill down to the home yard below.

As the years went by seeds from this tree blew over to the other side of their house. An Ash tree grew wild there a few feet away from the carport. The carport was above their house since they lived on a hill.  

I was pregnant with my second boy when the mother Ash was cut down. Seems the Ash tree was on the border between to property lines.

I threatened to tie myself to the tree so it would not happen.

I had countless arguments with builders and my parents yet could not stop it from being cut down, Dad and mom agreed to it being cut and taken away. They kept tree wood for their fireplace.

I grieved the tree for a long time.

About ten years later I was talking to my mom on the phone. I heard her scream.

“Your father just drove the car over the carport.”

She hung up on me. I went into shock. I called my husband at work. He left to go see how my mom and dad were. I lost time until my husband came home and told me what had happened.

When he got to my parents’ house it was surrounded by three fire trucks.  Dad was still alive. He was in the car unable to get out. The car was facing front side down and the tail end up. What kept him from rolling down the hill in his car to the house below was that same Ash tree that grew up from a seed long ago. An Ash tree saved my dad’s life.

How dad’s car was towed up the hill is a blur to me. The fact is after a few hours the firemen got him out safely.

Dad was washing the car that day on the carport. He stepped on the gas instead of the breaks. This is what sent him over a 12-to-15-foot drop.

The Ash tree in our neighborhood will be cut down tomorrow. In my yard are several Ash trees that came forth from such a mother Ash tree. Hawk and raven are always welcome here. Their flying patterns have changed.  I can see that they already know that a change is coming.


Author: Hudley Flipside

Welcome to Hudley Flipside’s “The Seminary Of Praying Mantis Publishing.” Praying mantis shows me her story of life, death, and rebirth. For me she is an image or symbol of the divine in all things. I watch the praying mantis in my garden and have taken her image as my logo. She is an amazing little creature, and I relate to her connection to nature. We are both wild and part of this strange world. She is a part of my mythology as I am part of hers.

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