I ran by them yesterday and the trunks were there, weary, gray, and stalwart. But now they were guarding a gap in a new chain link fence. A culvert near the base of the trees made me think of Wormtongue’s description of the one weakness of Helm’s Deep in Tolkien’s “The Two Towers”.
Today, as I finished my run, I burrowed down into the heat of my clothes and half-closed my eyes against the early morning snow. My foot kicked some little branches and then a fresh wood chip. I stopped. Ent-carnage everywhere.
I turned to my right, the gap was no longer guarded; the culvert was open to attack. The tree trunks had been ground out of their spot.
And then I remembered the chain link fence that had been put up recently on either side of the old tree trunks.
I understand the farmer’s point of view: remains from the careless visitors and their trysts are evident in the trash spread along the fence’s edge.
Still, I will mourn the openness of the view across the fields and I will miss the knotty perfection of the old guards.