Yesterday, I started sharing the Arborist story with you, and we left off with my neighbor and me getting the task underway. The two tall trees are coming down. I was excited for a new view of my backyard.
We rented a chain saw, purchased a few ropes, gathered lots of guts and few brains. This was going to be an easy takedown. I couldn’t wait to yell, ‘TIMBERRRRRR!’ That had been a dream of mine ever since the Grizzly Adams days. My boyfriend at the time couldn’t be there that day and wished us well. He probably meant more like, “I’ll pray for you two.” Looking back, I’m beginning to think he was busy that day for a reason, a 100-foot reason.
My neighbor bravely climbed up the tree with such fluidity. He reached the first big limb and proceeded to cut the branch off above him. The first limb was down. Oh, joyous occasion. We’re off and running, or cutting, I guess you could say. Who needs a professional tree trimmer?
He was able to trim a few branches off from that position, and everything was going well. We even had our communication down to a science. He would yell, “Coming down! Move out of the way!” and I would move. Things were going smoothly.
When he could reach no more limbs, he climbed up to the next available limb. He was able to cut himself a path using the limbs like a step ladder.
He trimmed a few more branches, and down they came. When they reached the ground, my job was to drag them out of the way, over to a pile where we would later run them through a chipper.
I recall there was one branch that was being difficult. He couldn’t quite get the saw on it completely, so he yelled for me to throw him a rope. He wanted to tie off the limb, cut it, and have me pull it down.
Now, I had spent a lot of time being a concrete cowgirl when I was in my 20’s, but I never perfected my lasso skills. After about four tosses of the rope up to him, he was finally able to grab hold of the rope without losing his footing. Who needs a professional tree trimmer when you have the two of us?
The trick was for me to pull the rope tied to this branch as he was cutting. The branch would come down very easily. I stood about 50 feet away, with the rope wrapped around my right arm, giving me some good leverage, and my left hand gripping the rope. My feet were firmly planted on the ground. I was ready. My neighbor began to cut the limb more. This limb looked weightless; it didn’t look too big.
Let me ask you a question.
Do you remember watching those Road Runner cartoons, and the poor old Road Runner made more problems for himself and inevitably smashed himself into the ground? Well, this was close.
As the limb began to come down, my idea of slowly lowering this huge limb down to the ground quickly became the dumbest idea. The limb came clear off in the final cut and fell with great force. As it fell, the rope tightened within seconds and about took off my right arm!
The weight of the limb was too much for my 150-pound body and my Jell-O triceps. Had the rope not unraveled off my arm the way it did, the trim limb would have been on the ground, and my arm would have been hanging in the air. Of course, had it not come clean off, I would have been hanging in the air with it, limb on the ground. At the very least, I would have endured a major rope burn.
I am thankful God is always with us, but sometimes we aren’t aware of His presence? That would be one of those moments for me. Truly, God was there that day. Folks, the story only gets better from here, so stay tuned for the continuing saga of The Arborist.
Proverbs 4:5-7, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore, get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
Lord, may we gather wisdom as instructed. Thanks, Lord, for the memories and the laughter they bring to my life. Thank you, Lord, for all you do in our lives and for all you provide to us every day. We’re so blessed whether we realize it or not. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
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