Dear reader, don't fall in love with a tree.
And so, dear reader, you can probably imagine how I felt when I heard the chain saw screaming through the air.
I didn't want a better view of the sea. I wanted my tree.
By the time my client had left, and I dared to look out, many major branches had already been cut.
I phoned the Council immediately. 'We'll check the Resource Consent,' they said.
I put on my coat and ran. Ran up our steep driveway and out the gate. Ran along the street and round the corner. Ran down to the piece of public land that runs along towards the tree on the neighbour's property.
'Who's in charge?' I asked the lounging workmen, waiting with their empty truck to take the debris away. 'No one,' they said and laughed.
I ran towards the tree. One man was tied to the top, and another on the ground held the ropes.
'It's coming down,' said the bloke on the ground, and laughed, showing gaps in his teeth.
But the bloke up the tree understood. He stopped the chain saw.
'The trunk has rot in it,' he said. 'We're removing the weight from all these branches so that it doesn't fall over.'
My pounding heart began to slow down.
He got the other guy to take me round the back of the trunk. I had to scramble over a tangle of cut limbs and bushy foliage. Sure enough, I saw the rot, and understood what they were doing.
As I left, I passed the neighbours who had come out of their apartments to watch. A suave gentleman called out mockingly, and the other workmen did too.
'The pohutukawas are going next,' they jeered. As I left I heard their laughter.
You may be seen as a crazy old woman or man.
But when the chain saw tears through the branches, you will feel as if your own limbs are being severed. And when you look out in your favourite direction in the morning, and see the damage, it will hurt. Even though it's all for your own good.