Archive for January, 2016

Tears for Trees

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Tears roll down my cheeks daily as the trees I have visited most every day for 18 years are being torn down with heavy machinery. These trees are like a home to me, they have witnessed my tears, soothed my fears and given me a deep sense of belonging that the human world has not. So, this forest is personal for me. Yet, the tears that roll down my cheeks are not just for them but equally for the condition of our culture. We live in an artificial society that believes itself to be real. Money, for instance, is a human construct, yet it has become equivalent to our life-force.

I use the very wood products these tree friends will be made in to. So, who am I to be angry about or against their death? Mother Nature also gives the death sentence to trees; it is the cycle of life. Addi, I do not doubt that the remaining trees will benefit from the openness and sunshine. So, what exactly does make me so sad? It seems to be the lack of reverence for their life. While I started this essay in my mind in the woods, right now I’m in a car dealer. Outside there’s a parking lot full of cars and a woman walking through it. Down the center is a row of trees. An average human would see the cars as the dominant feature. Which, as a parking lot, they are. Yet, they do not contribute to the life that surrounds them. While, the trees, which give the appearance of an afterthought, circulate oxygen that we all need to live. They give us breath and life, while the cars simply bring us from place to place.

Not only are the trees important to our survival, they communicate amongst each other and help each other out from the roots according to this web article trees-communicate. So, how then is going in and altering their community much different than a mass shooting? Many, if not all, of those who kill others are motivated by their belief that the end result will be better for the world, for the human life that will remain. Exactly the thoughts of the forestry people that are cutting the trees— “it’s better for the trees that will remain.”

The first week of cutting, the birds were silent. Today, not so much, as they flickered around not knowing where to go. Same with the deer I saw wandering down the side of the road, wondering where to take refuge. I haven’t heard a peep or seen the sight of the porcupines that move slowly among the tops of trees—what are they doing? No matter what, life will go on. For them, for the forest, for the men doing their job and for me. The real question is; will we have reverence for that life as it continues? Will we make it a loving place and be mindful of the nonhumans we live amongst? Will we recognize that we owe our very breath to the trees as they produce oxygen that allows us live? The tree’s life does not depend on us, we depend on the gifts of the trees. Thank the good lord that they are willing to share. How are we paying them back?



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