I am happy and delighted to report my neighbours eventually understood how 'devastated' I would have been at the loss of this tree. The victory if anything like this can be called a 'victory' is not one in which I can take any pleasure because to save the tree I had to resort to one of those letters that one writes in the heat of the moment that should be 'slept on' and should never be posted. Sadly this was one letter that could not wait for as tomorrow would have been too late. It had to be highly emotional, from the heart and absolutely frank. Not the sort of letter any of us wants to write or receive.
Why do we all find it hard to say how we feel when we meet face to face? Why do we think that we are free to do whatever we want because we have the right and not take others into consideration? Why do we not seek out our neighbours opinions before we put up the conservatory, or paint the house pink or thoughtlessly block a cherished view. My neighbours obviously had no idea of what that tree meant to me.
On their side it looks rather scraggy and bare but for me it is the thing I look at for hours every day. Because of my illness I spend hours in bed and it is the thing I look at from my bedroom window. It also shields me from my neighbour's rusty iron roof which has not been painted in 36 years. From my elevated position I see the plum in its full mature glory. It is huge and the most beautiful shape. In Spring it is covered with blossom. In summer a mass of green leaves and purple plums . It is always full of birds, tuis, golden eyes, even a little owl which sings 'More Pork' and in the winter rosella parrots. I cannot move, I am not young, I cannot wait another 36 years for its replacement.
Just talking to my neighbours made no impression but after the stay of execution on Friday when it rained and Saturday's rainbow that highlighted it as I awoke on what I thought was its last day my best friend, who had put up with my grief, thought I had to write and tell them exactly how I felt and what the tree's loss would mean to me. I knew it would be a letter that would a watershed. It should never have come to this but I did.
What makes 'sense' to one side may not make 'sense' to the other and if it is discussed early it can be 'sorted out'. But on the whole with neighbors we fail to do this. Israel and the Palestinians are an extreme example of what happens when neighbor's fall out. The Palestinians feel trapped and the Israelis feel it is their right to take over as they are God's chosen people and it is their land. The result is chaos for us all. Israel and Palestine have the ingredients to destroy the world. Would being nice to the Palestinians hurt Israel? A cessation of Palestinian bombing of Israel would really help too. We are all humans of the same species and all have human rights and so do trees. They like us are alive and depend on us for their well being and we need them for photosynthesis.
My poor neighbour rang to say the tree was spared but the letter was 'devastating'. It was and I should have hated it but I had no choice. She just had to know.I have sent her the most extravagant bouquet of flowers I have ever bought. She and the tree are worth it!