A community unites to mourn the death and celebrate the life of its oldest resident.
For six hundred years, the tree was reborn every spring. So long a time, in human years, the people of Basking Ridge took the mighty oak for granted. Passing under it on the way to church and school, driving past on the way to the town center for work or for lunch. So much a member of the community.
But then one summer, the leaves turned brown.
Now the time for mourning and remembering. For gratitude and celebration. No other community was graced for so long with such a natural wonder; a benevolent source of air, shade, and beauty. Nature’s gift. Out came the painters, poets, filmmakers, the historians and the arborists, the church-goers and the nature lovers — the community. Diverse, ever more so, but also united. The final gift from their Great Oak was the reminder that all of mankind is a community.