THEY DESERVE MORE RESPECT
I am, literally, a tree hugger. Years ago I learned
a native practice for young men. Sorry to report I can't recall which tribal nation.
It requires standing in the spring with your spine aligned with a tree that is of your relative age. You put your arms behind you, encircle the tree and clasp your hands.
This is done at a time of year when the sun and damp earth create an awakening and budding in the tree.
The idea is to sense or feel the energy flow along your spine
and to be "one" with the tree. In the practice, the
young brave stood for hours. I've been a piker by
comparison but it is something I try to do each spring,
though young is no longer an apt description.
I think of trees as a kind of planetary elder.
I am in awe and marvel at the age and size
of redwoods and sequoias.
I've been to this point before.
A story through-line and subtext of my
second book, THE SANIBEL CAYMAN DISC,
deals with development vs. nature
and how civilization interacts with the environment.
Those under pin the surface story, the black market
in chemical and biological weapons.
I tell you this so you know my bias when
I say old trees deserve respect.
These are scenes of a recent cutting of
eucalyptus trees in Cambria. I understand
eucalyptus trees are fire hazards. But when a tree, still healthy, gets to this age, what is gained from felling it? This cutting occurred on public land,
near to a trail and at a great distance from power lines.
Smaller trees nearby were left standing. In fact
there are many in the area that should be
pruned. Thinning also makes sense. I am not averse
to sound forest management practices and indeed
there are areas of the Central Coast where work needs to be done. I am left wondering though, why an ancient tree, posing no threat needs to be felled.
I'm sure there is an official rationale.
I've heard such explanations before and
often they are narrow minded and usually involve
Maybe I'm wrong headed, and overly sentimental
on the value of a tree. But how many people do you
know who survive to 150, 300 or even 2,500 years?
See you down the trail.