Chosen Futures
  • Remembering Trees

    May 06, 2010

    I've always admired city trees.  Under conditions that are often way less than optimal, city trees do what they are meant to do.  They reach for the sun, they reach for water, they shelter birds and squirrels, and they produce blossoms, pinecones, seeds, fruits so that there will be a next generation.  From the trees' point of view, it's only incidental that they also provide us humans with shade, beauty, and oxygen, making the city a more hospitable place for us to live.

    Over the last few days I have been saying good-bye to three tall, old pine trees outside my office window.  We have been notified that the trees will be cut down on Monday, and I'm grieving the loss of shade and beauty.  When I moved to this office almost eight years ago, branches swept down toward the ground outside my window.  I loved looking out at them.  Then, some years ago, one of the trees dropped a huge branch onto the parking lot, making quite a ruckus as it came down and dented a couple of cars.   The cleanup afterward included pruning back the branches, which means my view now includes a great deal more of the backs of other buildings.  I keep my curtains closed a lot.  After next week I'll probably keep them closed all the time.

    I understand about change.  I understand about aging.  The dropped branch was a reminder that these trees are way too close to the building and to the parking lot, a reminder that we humans haven't given these trees much space or soil in our dense city.  I understand that building owners and their insurance companies worry about liability and damage.  But I will miss seeing green outside my window.  I will miss the big tall trunks.  I will even miss the crows who commented loudly from the branches, distracting me from whatever I was doing.

    Change alerts us, causes us to pay more attention.  Strictly speaking, there will be more space outside my window, but already I feel more closed in, less connected to the world.  As I say goodbye to the trees and thank them for what they have given me, I'm reminding myself to keep doing what I'm meant to do, whether or not conditions are optimal.  I'm reminding myself to keep seeking and creating beauty and connection, human and otherwise.  I'm reminding myself to be grateful for the friends and companions along my way and to thank them for what they give me.

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© 2020 Deborah Gavrin Frangquist, Chosen Futures