Luci has a new perch. It is a tree that was accidentally cut down. From an untimely death, this tree has been given a new life. It is now next to Luci’s cage and holds hummingbird feeders and plantains to attract wild birds to its bare branches. The fatality is partly my fault because my worker did not understand my Spanish. He is new on my farm, older and probably has never left this area of Valle de Cauca. I imagine working on a farm for an American is strange but also fascinating to him. He is a very kind old gentlemen. He works quietly all day, the dogs stay near him. I often look outside and I will see Orion next to him while he is in the vegetable garden, or Bruno Mars laying sound asleep while he prunes flowers. He has a gentle spirit that the dogs relate to. I have always had trouble with my American accent while speaking Spanish, and I even wrote a funny blog about my Spanish here. However, this latest misunderstanding caused the death of a Quava tree that was in my garden. It was a young tree, maybe 5 years old, and was producing fruit. I felt such sadness after it was cut down. I believe trees can feel, breathe, emit sounds. Anyone need only walk in the rainforest here in Colombia and listen; the sounds are symphonic, heavenly, full of spiritual resonance. It is not just birds or insects that you will hear, you will hear the air moving through branches as they sway and twitch in a chorus of their own.
I looked out from my glass enclosed bedroom, and saw my worker was taking an ax to my tree. I yelled out, but it was too late; the tree fell along with all the fruit, scattering guava everywhere. The look on his face was horror as he realized that he was cutting the wrong tree. I had asked him to cut up a banana tree that had fallen during a rainstorm, and pointed to the tree on the ground. It is unfortunate that the Guava tree was right in the path of the banana tree. How he thought my live Guava tree should be cut down from me asking him to cut up a dead banana tree I will never know. I do know that I sometimes can’t understand someone speaking Spanish to me, and it is because they speak with a slightly different accent. I am sure he had no idea what I was saying. I wish he would have asked my maid to make sure he was doing the right thing, but he didn’t and I lost a beautiful tree. I was lethargic the rest of the day, unable to concentrate due to the sick feeling in my stomach about this unnecessary loss. I would often photograph birds on this tree, eating the fruit on the ground as they fell with ripeness. Then something happened that changed the loss into a gain, the dead tree was placed in a spot next to Luci to be useful once again.
I swear I can see Luci smiling as she explores the durable stems without leaves. Hummingbirds come to the feeders, the whir of their wings now heard on my patio. The hummingbirds are all around Villa Migelita , but now there is a new spot to sit where they come regularly to feed. The branches also hold cut plantains to attract wild birds. This is the way we feed and attract birds here in Colombia, regular feeders filled with seed never work. Birds here have many fruits to choose from, and they will only come to fruit on a tree. I am anxiously awaiting to see my first bird come feed! This tree has also brought a change in my day; I eat lunch outside with Luci and my dogs. I sit in the afternoon studying Spanish while the hummingbirds hover nearby. What a great redemption for my Guava tree; still being used to attract birds while also allowing Luci to perch up high. I look at the beautiful scene and I smile thinking that this dead Guava tree is serving a purpose after all sending positive energy into the air, attracting life just like it did before. The branches are bare but they still reach to the sky and call nature to its side.