Driving down Federal Hwy. 1 from Boca Raton to the airport, she surveys the hurricane damaged trees. Naked from the trunk up. Palms, without fronds, coming to a stump at top, the amputation of a surviving veteran. Banyans, whose roots grow from the top down, have been stripped of their roots and will have to work for decades at a chance to reproduce again. They stand, with loose footing, precariously in the median. Beaten but not broken. Her heart feels the same.
“I love trees,” she says. “I could have been an arborist.”
“Pfft!” guffaws the woman next to her. “You are horrible at science, it’d have been a disaster.”
Silence, then abatement from the passenger seat. “You love the magic of nature, the poetry of trees. Not the biology.”
Half a day’s journey later, she arrives back to Winterland. In her backyard is a leafless maple. Not stripped by force, but having derobed her magnificent red before a long winter’s nap.