More from the mighty riven oak. First, the tree surgeons sliced up the fallen bough and took it all away, leaving a scar on the tree but little other evidence of the bough, or its dramatic separation. No unforeseen additional material here for developing the putative metaphor, (though it did occur to me that this prompt and tidy outcome illustrates that no man is indispensable, that the waters close over etc etc.)
Then, they returned to lop the tree extensively.
Their expert judgment, evidently, is that over many years it had grown far too big to be sustainable, and that only by a round of decisive cutting could it be restored to health and vitality.
Let us hope they know what they are doing, eh ?
photo (c) Nick Drew 2010