On top of the mountain behind our house; is an amazing view of Great East Lake. We have spent a lot of time hiking to this lookout over the past few years. It has been a part of our routine, it was even the first spot we walked as a married family.
Recently the sheep have started to accompany us on this trek.
A month ago we all headed up the trail; talking about everything and nothing as we went. At the fork in the path- that leads through the blueberry patches to the vista, we all stopped.
Something was different.
The quality of the light was so direct and bright. All conversation seized.
We walked on through the blueberries, even the sheep were aware something wasn’t the same. The smell of pine stung our noes and we rounded the corner to find that the entire hillside had been clear cut.
Neither of us could speak. There was nothing to say. The booming finality of it was deafening.
Gone. All gone.
Like someone had ripped apart an exquisite piece of antique lace then stomped it into the ground.
This was not our land to keep. We have no idea if this means a building will soon go up. It could have been for the sole purpose of the view.
Which IS spectacular.
Now clear of obstacles.
We roamed over earth we had only seen through thickets of brush and marveled at the destruction.
This is not an indictment of the people who made this choice. It is simply the reaction of our hearts to the change in a landscape who’s company we enjoyed. We can only hope it is not the end of our relationship with this mountain’s top.
In a world where we buy and sell bits of Mother Earth without second thought; contesting that this part here is MINE. I am dubious. We could only mourn the passing of a time and place that may have moved on, without a goodbye.
All I could think was that this couldn’t happen! What about was the lady slippers that grow there. Will they come back?
The Club Moss, Blueberries, Ghost Plant, Wintergreen, all the mushroom and the fairies!!
What about the F*cking fairies for god sake!!!
Couldn’t we just have talked about this first?!
It was such a waste.
Tears pricked my eyes and I plopped next to what used to be a huge pine. Now only a stump.
I looked at the lake and then at my decapitated companion. I saw he was crying too.
I collected them with care.
Since last fall I have been looking for a source of pine sap. I was unwilling to scar any tree for the product and I have been on the hunt for naturally damaged trees to collect from.
This can hardly be called a happy coincidence or even a consolation. It is what it is. I collected a large amount of crystal pine sap quickly. I had sad thoughts about those roots still trying to pump life to branches that no longer reach for the sun.
It is hard to be anything other than sad. I am fully aware that there was once forest where my house now stands. I have benefited daily from the destruction of trees, in one way or another. From the paper of my morning coffee cup- to the wood that warms our home.
There is so much emptiness in a place that has been scraped free of its growth.
I will treasure my little shell of pine sap, it came at a high cost.
I will remember to be kind to the untouched parts of the forest that remain. I will acknowledge that there was nothing wild or savage in these places. The savagery of man outweighs anything the forest has ever produced.
When we left the forests of our ancestors; we lost our way. All I can do it pray we find it again without cutting down everything in our path, trying to find the peace we left.
All because we thought we knew better.
Good mothers don’t crow after their children; constantly pointing out their every mistake. Good mothers let their children learn from the consequence of their actions. The earth is a good mother, let us hope there is some of her left to thank when we find our way back.
Make every day Earth Day!