July 15, 2007
So I Actually Am a Tree-Hugger
At first I was only annoyed by the noise and the exhaust gas. …Until I realized what they were up to.
When I saw from the kitchen window that they are cutting off branches from the trees, I figured, Well, at least I’m going to get some light in the house. But then they moved over to the old walnut tree in front of my bedroom window. That tree was 4-3 stories tall, and it reached its branches right into my windows. Were it not for the mosquito screen, I could’ve picked a smaller basket of nuts each fall, just standing at my bedroom window.
The closest of all my friends, the tree watched over my days and nights, kept excessive rain and shine away from my apartment, lessened the noise and dust of the road next to my house, and invited me over to watch the birdies swinging and chatting on its branches. It knocked on the window on stormy nights, and it reminded me to tuck in, not to catch a cold in the sudden weather change.
It whispered stories from times past, present, and coming. It argued with the voice of the thunder, and it taught me to hold on to my roots and stand firm and tall. And to grow. To build and strengthen the old, and bring forth the new, ever reaching for the expansive skies.
When my eyes tired of the computer screen, I would look over to the green of its leaves, watch the dance of lights on them for a few moments, and then return to work. All was well.
…Then the guys came today, with their cherry picker and their chainsaws, and they started cutting off the branches. The more they cut off, the more alarmed I got. And soon, I found myself circling in the room like an animal in its cage, crying and screaming: “I don’t want them to cut it out! I don’t want them to cut it out! I don’t want them to cut it out…”
It wasn’t a pretty sight. …And I started calming down a bit only when they dropped the damn chainsaw, and treated the large wound with some shiny fluid, to help the tree heal.
They are gone now. They are cutting off other branches from other trees. Mine is half the size it was before. Part of me wants to look at it closer to make sure everything is going to be all right. But my other half is still sobbing: they cut off a limb of my own.