Mason County News
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 • Posted July 21, 2010

Dead wood.

It’s a good thing.

Makes for good barbecue.

Like Texas Deadwood.

The name sure fits.

And it’s darn good barbecue too.

There’s also Coopers BBQ.

And Zavala’s on Thursdays.

As for dead wood…

My neighbor cut down a dead tree.

Why not.

They’re in the way.


No longer wanted.


Not so.

Dead wood means life.

When it piles up, birds find solace within.

As do lizards and rabbits.

He dismantles the dead tree.

One glance tells you it made a woodpecker happy.

All those holes drilled to get all those delicious insects.

And a larger hole was a permanent address for an owl or critter.

But not any longer.

Then there’s the beauty itself of weathered wood.

A testament to time.

A lot of time.

Leaves and bark long gone.

No longer serving as shade.

Rain and heat and insects turning it into a marble-white pillar.

Smooth and solid.

Glowing among the leafy green pecan trees.

But still a tree.

Giving of itself.

Even though it’s dead.

Even after we chop it up into pieces.

And chunk it into the fire.

The very fire made possible by the tree itself.

There it goes.

Giving heat.

Cooking our meat.

Drawing us close.

To sit and talk and eat and drink and laugh.

While its flames dispel the darkness.

Giving, giving, giving.

From leaf and limb to coal and ash.

A tree makes good company.

That’s Mason.

Renee Walker is an author, poet, and real estate broker on the square.



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