Mississippi, the Magnolia State, is more than nice alliteration with the magnolia being both the state tree and the state flower. You will also find its picture on our commemorative quarter. I learned during Katrina that pines snapped off and oak trees came up by the roots in hurricanes. For the most part, magnolias stood their ground. Unfortunately, mine was not one of those. Tall and magnificent in the front yard, it swayed toward the carport on the first half of the storm and back toward the neighbors on the second half. When the storm had passed, it remained barely standing with a huge mound surrounding it from the soil it loosened as it rocked.
The danger of the magnolia was its sheer size and strength poised to fall right into the front bedroom. There was nothing to do but call the tree people to cut it down. Al supervised their work while I remained inside, busy and preoccupied. I should have stayed where I was. I walked outside just as the tree fell. The tree-cutter took one look at my face and said, “You didn’t need to see that, did you?” He was right. Silly me – mourning a tree.
Fortunately, my neighbor who knew how I loved that tree on the corner of my yard found a tiny magnolia growing among her flowers. She donated it, and Al planted it a little farther from the bedroom window. It has grown quickly with no requirements for care and tending. This year it bloomed profusely. Barring another hurricane, I’m thinking it will be a source of joy for years to come.