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It’s been a while since the storm in Buenos Aires uprooted our pine tree but we’ve finally had to say goodbye. The giant tree was taken down last week by a team of workers with chainsaws and a head for heights. It had to be done – the tree was leaning dangerously across the garden towards the new construction on the next-door lot. Who knew when a strong wind or some movement within the earth would cause it to fall? Now it’s down we don’t have to worry about the dogs, the car, a lawsuit from the next-door-neighbors… But it was with great sadness that we said goodbye to the pine.

The tree was part of the yard since Mario’s parents first moved here over 40 years ago. And while I’ve only known the tree for a few years, Mario watched it grow from a tiny twig to the stately tower it became.

The pine marked the house. It was decorated with lights at Christmas, and it gave shelter to hundreds of species of insects, birds and animals. Our cat climbed up to the height of two floors when he was still little and hadn’t realised how scary it would be to come down again. The pine was settled, steadfast and solid. Somehow it never seemed to change, not like the other trees and plants that shed leaves and dropped branches and moved in the breeze.

But it moved on. There’s a smell of pine in the air and a gap in the garden. The space seems incomplete. But I’m planning a new vegetable plot and we’re looking forward to spring. Many things change.