Once there were trees.
Live oaks, mostly.
These trees grew in open areas, their twisting
branches forming wide canopies, reaching heavenward.
Praising God, their Creator.
The leaves remained green all year,
changing over each March to fresh ones--
the new leaves pushing off the old.
Through summer weeks of drought and heat, they grew.
Birds and animals sheltered in their outstretched limbs.
Cattle rested in their shade.
As God planned it, they absorbed the carbon dioxide we produced and gave back the oxygen we need for survival .
Then one day, in the name of progress,
large orange X's appeared on their silent, ancient trunks.
The birds paid no mind and continued to bring grasses to the growing nests within the branches, preparing for the day the eggs would nestle in these wee beds.
But there would be no eggs this year-nor any future years.
The abrasive noise of grinding engines disrupted the birds and all lifeforms nearby.
The trees were torn down.
Not cut, but ripped out of the earth, twisted and broken.
Their roots lay bare.
The sturdy trees that had grown from a small acorn
and thrived for decades, perhaps a century, now lay
toppled and piled into a mass grave on top of the earth.
With frightening speed and efficiency,
this piece of machinery gathered up those grand trees that were now lying twisted and dying on the ground...
and reduced them to mountains of mulch.
And before we could even grieve for the trees,
these many piles of mulch were scooped into trucks
and swiftly hauled away.
To where, I wondered?
I stood for a long while,
camera in my idle hands,
staring in shock at the stark, barren landscape
in front of me.
Where only utility lines are standing now--
brief days ago-- countless trees softened this landscape.
And this one oak to the left--
it is no longer there, either.
Who knows the years each of these trees had lived in these very places?
How can man's plans demolish so much life in one week?
I am having a hard time driving down this road now.
I hear the echoes of weeping--
from the birds, the cattle, the small, scurrying animals...
and the trees themselves.
There will be no nests, no eggs, no fledgling birds.
No exchange of gases to help us breathe.
No shade, no greens, no rustle of leaves in the breeze.
Instead, a 2-lane country road becomes a 4-lane highway.
Noxious emissions from increased traffic will fill our lungs.
When is enough ENOUGH?!
When there are no longer trees but a world of asphalt,
will we mourn then? Will we regret?
Do trees weep when they are being ripped apart?
I weep for them.