Outside plumbers were working, removing roots that tangled and broke into the drain. Who knew, the tree, this huge healthy beauty that shaded afternoon naps and fluttered like the sound of a waterfall, who knew underneath, unseen, the tree was desperately searching for a drink in drainpipes, with a wretchedly clenching grip that cut off circulation. The pavers were ripped up, strewn around the trunk and over by the shed. A deep trench around the house dug, it began to rain. Mud clumped so tightly it stuck to the spade, requiring another spade to scrape it off.
Inside the house it was not quiet and Sam was a tightly scrunched anxious little ball of crinkled skin and skeleton, and some pudgier bits, on the kitchen floor, except he was sitting perfectly upright at the table, but emotionally he was the ball tightly wound. So he wrote a letter.
I know you're really busy at the moment. I know it's loud inside and out, but calm the question and know it will be ok, that is surely and has so far always been true. You've never been here before and that is the best place to be. You'll never be here again and that's the best place to leave. Things will move on and on.
The plumbers stopped in the backyard, then there was a knock, a conversation and they left through the rain down the side path. The sound of rain. The sound of the tree enjoying the wind in it's hair as it let its roots do the work.