I awoke to a faint rustling sound accompanied by an occasional little thud. It was not at all loud but strangely mysterious. I had never heard sounds quite like it before. Still half asleep, I made my way to a window and brushed aside the draperies to see what I could see. Everything appeared quite normal. A full moon was exceptionally bright that night. Long shadows from the bushes and trees stretched across my little back yard like giant ghosts in repose. Fireflies flickered silently as they moved about doing whatever it is they do. I felt privileged to have been awakened to witness this serene beauty.

Then I heard it again. A slight rustling . . . Silence . . . Rustling accompanied by a soft woody knocking sound. Suddenly I noticed something strange. My dogwood tree was gone. It simply was not there. It had been there for years. It was there yesterday. I looked away, questioned whether I was fully awake and looked back. Still no dogwood.

The rustling and knocking sounds were getting louder.

Suddenly I noticed one long shadow that stretched across my yard was moving. It came from something in my neighbor’s yard. I quickly moved to another window where I could get a better view.

Oh no! The big old willow tree next door appeared to be pulling itself right out of the ground. It leaned first in one direction and then another, groaning and pulling. Little by little the roots stretched and popped out of the earth. My eyes were riveted to this frightening display of force. My heart was beating wildly. I must have been in a state of shock. I was unable to think, let alone move. I just stared as this absurdity slowly progressed.

Once the roots were totally free of the ground, the big old willow began to quietly tiptoe across the yard. Long, leafy streamers trailed gracefully behind like fine delicate ribbons flowing in the breeze. At the Bank of the creek that runs behind my yard, the big old tree thumped the base of its monstrous trunk down so hard that it shook my house. While the old willow rested, its roots playfully splashed about in the water.

As the night continued, my fascination kept me at the window. Other trees from other yards came and joined the willow at the creek. There were couples strolling branch in branch, smaller trees skipping and jumping about and little ones nestled in the branches of big trees. When a large group had gathered, they began swaying to and fro in unison, knocking branches together. Their syncopated rhythms reminded me of jungle drums. Some of the young trees joined branches and danced about in a circle keeping time with the thuds. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

 Eventually, I must have become accustomed to the weirdness. My heart was no longer pounding wildly.

Approaching dawn began adding a little light to the horizon. The trees became quiet as they casually tip toed back to their original places in the neighbor hood. Slowly everything returned to normal. With nothing out of the ordinary to see, I went back to bed and tried to get some sleep. Later, as I was having my breakfast, I decided it was all a dream. More convincing than most but certainly not reality. Yes, it was an intense, vivid dream.

I decided to reaffirm this belief and my sanity while taking a walk in the garden. As soon as I stepped out the door it hit me. My dogwood was gone. Not another thing was changed but my dogwood tree was gone.