Monday, October 27, 2008

God's speed, beloved trees

It’s a sad day for my home town. The big water oak trees that have provided shade for our court square for over 100 years are being chopped down. The arborists proclaim that they are dangerous, said they are a threat to the sidewalk and possibly folks passing by should a limb fall. The experts say the oaks are at the end of their natural life, so the local powers-that-be are doing what people are apt to do when that time approaches—get rid of them.

These majestic trees have faithfully guarded each corner of our 1904 courthouse, witnessing it become a hospital for Civil War soldiers, watching the streets change from dirt roads to paved, overseeing murder trials, and swaying in the wind as generations of citizens played checkers under its branches.

Today, my children and I are mourning the trees untimely demise. My kids loved playing under them after we had dinner on the square. Our favorite tree had a knoll that looked like a face—it was the first to go. By the end of the week, they’ll all be gone.

My children said they wanted to start a petition, but, honestly, there’s not enough time. I thought of chaining myself to one of the trees, like I’ve read about what I considered crazy people doing. Of course, that’s not practical, but now I see those people aren’t so crazy after all. I guess all that's left to say is God's speed, beloved trees.

1 comment:

Angela McRae said...

Leigh, you are sooooo right! I heard those chainsaws earlier today and nearly wept. I'm no tree hugger, but I'm with you on my fondness for those wonderful old trees. It looks so bare now! Yuck! But I trust those in charge made the right decision ... still ...