i’m angry. i’m anguished angry.
i came back from lunch on that lovely, peaceful, restful sunday.
it was just three days ago.
i looked out today and i still feel sad. it’s so bare.
three days ago . . .
sitting by my open library window . . . the sound of the high pitched
whining unmistakable sound of a big chain saw.
terribly close! what is somebody doing???
i walk into my bedroom. the windows open in there as well . . .
i see now. what is happening.
a man is cutting you down. you shake. and fall to the ground.
one by one you fall like green sentries.
slaughtered at your post.
your blessed cooling green healthy leaves . . . no more.
the beautiful shadow patterns you made on my window. gone.
i walk out into my yard. i am shaking. he is the new owner of this
‘rental property’ he has just purchased. it’s the house next door
to my own.
i can’t help myself. he shuts off the shrieking saw. tears in my eyes.
“i know it’s your property. but why on earth would you cut down these
beautiful trees? i have struggled just to keep them alive these past two
summers with no rain. they were thriving. they give shade to us in
these terrible days from hell. the temperatures in the mid 100’s for
god’s sake!!! they give us oxygen and they shelter little birds.
why???? why have you cut them all down?”
i finally run down. angry tears now. i always cry when i get mad.
i hate that. but i do. and of course, this is really none of my business.
i know that. in my heart. but my mouth hasn’t heard yet.
he just smiles an insolent (to me anyway) smile and says . . .
they’re just messy. and they’re too close to the fence anyway.
introduces himself as the new landlord owner. i grudgingly
apologize for my outburst, since “after all, they’re on your property.”
i go back inside. still shaking.
four perfectly healthy trees. beautiful trees that in the last two
years alone, have survived two summers of drought, unbelievable heat,
three hard ice storms. hail the size of golf balls. and two small tornadoes.
this is a harsh land. a hard climate of extremes.
but dear god.
they survived. and were giving what they give. oxygen and life.
and in less than half an hour, a man with a noisy electric saw
decreed they die.
“they’re messy.” he had said. and “too close to the fence.”
well. yes. their leaves turn gold. and they lose their leaves.
it’s called autumn, you idiot.
fences can be replaced. they were not touching the fence anyway.
i sit in my chair. i cannot read now. i can’t seem to concentrate.
i continue to listen to the loud murder of my beautiful green friends.
other than getting back into the car and leaving, i cannot escape the
i ponder what it might be like to live where trees are still sacred.
where people value them for the gifts they give us rather than the
leaves that have to be raked, or the various other complaints people
have against them. or when they’re just . . . in the way.
i live in a state that does not value them at all.
and you’d think we would, given our opressive excessive heat.
maybe it is the wild open west mentality.
because they are routinely bulldozed down for the sake of “progress.”
and more concrete. and a new development. and on and on.
whatever it is. . . we will pay for our blase’ attitude someday.
or rather our children and their children’s children will pay.
for it takes a long time to grow a tree.
very few things in this world make me truly ‘anquished angry.’
abuse. especially toward the innocents . . .
children . . . animals . . . old people . . .
“they have no choice. they have no voice.” the song goes.
and wanton savagery of the environment . . . whether the sea, the air,
the rain forests . . . or my own green friends next door.
who gave so much.
not any more.
i find i am still