If A Tree Falls In The Plaza

We had some rain last night. And quite a bit of wind. I didn’t open the shutters to see what was going on, but the windows rattled for a while. This morning, San Geraldo, opened the living room shutters and thought something looked different on the plaza. He noticed the palm tree on the corner had a tremendous curve to its trunk. Odd for an old palm tree that had stood vertically for such a long time. Palm tree trunks tend to bend in the wind and return to their original pose


Still, there was something else odd about the plaza. And then San Geraldo got it. Another palm tree was no longer where it was supposed to be. The trunk had been snapped and the rest of the tree lay on the plaza, having smashed a bench on its way down.


I’ve never seen a palm tree snap. Even during an earthquake in Santa Barbara, California, I watched huge palms sway until their crowns touched the ground only to bounce back up to their original positions. No harm done.


I don’t believe in signs or omens, really. My feeling is one can read whatever one wants into just about anything. But, if I did believe, I would say maybe someone is telling us it’s time to move on — before someone drops a tree on us.

I wonder — since I was asleep and wasn’t “there” to hear it — if the tree still made a noise when it fell.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

26 thoughts on “If A Tree Falls In The Plaza”

    1. Owl Wood:
      But, if a man speaks in the forest and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong? (My guess is "yes.")

      All I remember is the note Dorothy left behind:

      "Dear Aunt Em,

      Hate you. Hate Kansas.
      Took the dog.

      — Dorothy"

    2. She didn't make it very far either – woke up strapped to her bed, medicated and being "de-programmed" by her family. I hear she's a successful orthodontist in Minneapolis now.

  1. I do believe in signs and omens, Mitchell…though I then tend to laugh at myself for doing so; however, if this was a sign, I wouldn't necessarily do the math in such a way that it was aimed at you. LOL

    Maybe it is for a particularly nasty neighbor with a penchant for red shoes?

    1. Writer:
      In Sevilla, we have a lot of neighbors with red shoes, though not many sparkly ones.

      But if the tree had been aimed at us, it would have hit us, I think it was a just a warning shot.

  2. So philosophical for this time of day!!
    Not being familiar with Palm trees maybe it was diseased in the the centre and ready to snap off.
    I do think you guys have had your 'tree' fall on you. No need to wait for one.

    1. Jim:
      I think the palm tree was very dry, which makes it less resilient. The other one doesn't look well. And a couple of deciduous trees in the plaza now have a significant "tilt." It's a shame. I agree about not waiting for our own well-aimed tree.

  3. Yup, time to go. Well, maybe. That is, if you want to. I mean, if it feels right. But, let's not be hasty.

    Heh heh 🙂

    All of this reminds me that I saw WICKED two weeks ago, and it was fantastic! And I do not really enjoy theatre, let alone musicals. It was fabulous.

    1. Judeet:
      Oh, we LOVED "Wicked." Now, "You're Gonna Be POP-you-oo-ler" (well, more POP-you-oo-ler than you already are).

      We never make hasty decisions. We always think things over for at least a few minutes.

    1. Stephen:
      The look of the plaza does sadden me now, too. There were originally four palms. Two died before we arrived and just trunks wrapped in bougainvillea remain. Now we're down to one, and it's not long for this world. With two deciduous trees looking unhappy, the plaza may soon be much less green.

  4. Wow. Right outside your apartment!
    Reminds me of an "All In The Family" episode when Meathead relates to Archie how a huge crate fell at work, nearly crushing him: "Thank God I wasn't hit!"
    To which Archie replied, "How do you know He didn't miss?"
    (Glad to hear you're safe and sound!)

  5. I love trees….have always loved trees…am I a tree hugger? Could be! I guess that's why we have so many trees on our property which can cause problems unlike your situation…hurricane forces toppling such trees and waking up in the morning to see…just like you…what happened out there? SO I understand what you have just gone through. Time to head for the seashore and just rest the weary brain and soul!


  6. I think I sat on that bench, or the one next to it just opposite of Bodega Ammarillo.

    I think it's a sign, during the summer months your apartment will get the full blast of the sun when that palm is gone.

    1. Peter:
      I think you DID sit on the bench that is no longer there! You're right about the sun. That palm shaded us a bit and tree in front will probably have to go. That provided most of the shade from the afternoon sun — and both provided hiding places for the local parrots. What a shame.

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