Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fear, and Trees.

I love trees. All trees. Slender, elegant birches, with silvery shimmering leaves: willows with delicate weeping branches encasing their massive gnarly trunks: enormous pines reaching into the sky, rustling God's message in the wind.

When I lived in the city and rode my bike to work, I always went a certain route, so that I could ride under the canopy of monumental chesnut trees that lined both sides of one street, even though it meant I had to ride up one of the worst hills in the city.

I can still remember feeling upset, when I rode my bike to work one day, and saw that two enormous oaks had been chopped down to enlarge a music store's parking lot. The store went out of business in a short time, but those trees had been there almost 100 years, and they were gone forever.

Other people on my street complain about the mess of the ornamental cherry trees - I wait all year to see that glorious bloom, and to enjoy the dance of the dropped petals swirling down the road in a light spring breeze.

Yesterday, driving home, I saw that one of my neighbours had taken down a huge pine tree which graced their property. It lay in pieces in a dump truck. (This was a big pine, the cones it dropped were some of the largest I've seen outside of a first-growth forest.) I've always enjoyed listening to that tree when the wind is blowing - it murmured and sighed. That tree was growing before any of us were even born, and now it's nothing but pieces of wood lying in a truck's bed.

My neighbour has always been afraid of that tree. When I walked under it, I felt communion with my Creator, awe, and peaceful in the shadow of its branches. My neighbour felt it "loomed threateningly" over her house. She's a very fearful sort of person, completely unable to enjoy life, consumed with worries. Her worry caused her to destroy a thing of beauty for no other reason than to set her mind at ease. But that won't last, she'll just clamp onto something else, and within a day or so, will be in a frenzy over that, unable to sleep, and frantic.

The tree died for nothing. I stood on our back steps last night, and felt sad, looking at the big empty space of sky that used to be filled with that glorious tree.

Fear is only and ever, a destroyer.


  1. So sad. I love trees too. I always feel sad when I see them go to waste for nothing.

  2. This post brought tears to my eyes. I am so sad to hear about trees being cut down. I think that they are so magnificent. There is a huge oak tree near here that must be about 200 years old. It is protected thankfully.

  3. I grew up in Washington, D.C. with the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin downtown and some of the older neighborhoods had flowering cherry trees arching over the roads. They were some of the most beautiful sights one could ever see and they are burned in my memory forever. I miss the trees we had up North. Florida trees are very different. But I love them all and I mourn the loss of their beauty too when they are destroyed.


  4. I am sad this post happened to be on my Birthday 2 years ago.

    I also love trees, I grew up and live in South East WI and we have a lot of trees. I love the Maples in the fall with their bright flaming red, orange and yellow leaves. I don't like it when people cut down trees either for no real reason other then to "get it out of the way." I remember when my Dad had our large pine tree removed. He had good reason the roots were starting ot ruin our foundation. Luckily my dad didn't have it "cut down". He had it "picked" we were told it was going to Micheal Jordan's new home for a "natural" fence line. I when we were told about it. It didn't go to waste. My Dad had gardens, and other trees planted in the yard over the years and I could tell he too was sad to say good bye.