He gets up early every morning, makes himself a cup of coffee and sits longways on the sofa in his family room alongside two large windows in the back of his house.
It’s always dark when he gets up. In the winter, he used to watch the sky lighten and a line of trees in the nearby woods emerge, all hardwoods except for one big evergreen.
There was something about that evergreen that bothered him. It seemed out of place. It just didn’t fit.
One day, he went into the woods with a chainsaw. He made his way to the evergreen, a stout, 40-foot Norway spruce, and cut it down at the base. It was far too big to drag away, so he sliced off the branches and cut the trunk into pieces, which he carried home for firewood.
These days, he sits on the opposite end of his sofa in the morning. He doesn’t want to face the hardwood trees, which now look monotonous and lonely, like stalwart soldiers standing at perpetual attention in honor of a fallen comrade. The very sight of them fills him with regret.