Unexpected Sadness

Warning:  For those of you who are tree huggers and/or extremely sympathetic, you might not want to read this.  I am just stretching my creative muscles, but some of you might not like what you read.

I am surprised by a sadness which has crept over me.  I feel a great sorrow for the trees in my area.  This is new since I am not even close to being one who values trees.  I gleefully chop down an evergreen every winter I’m able to, never giving a moment’s thought to the tree.

This past week has been a learning experience for me.  If you don’t know, there was a massive winter storm in the Puget Sound area, last week.  First snow, then ice.  The weight of the snow made tree branches bend.  The added ice on top of it made branches and limbs snap like match sticks.  This has left a mess all over town.  At first, I enjoyed the smell of freshly cut Christmas Tree.   I mean – people buy candles and sprays to make their house smell like that, right?

Then, I thought of the fallen pieces as a nuisance.  I drove over some branches which were laying in the small road which leads to my house.  That road had been lined with lovely fir trees, standing tall each time someone passed.  Now, their limbs and digits lay broken all over the road, their trunks shorn down to being almost bare.  For some reason, that didn’t bother me. 

It wasn’t until I reached my driveway that it struck me.  I put my car into park, set the emergency brake, and killed my engine.  When I got out, I smelled something I’d never smelled before.  I looked around to figure out what it was.  I saw green liquid dripping from my car.  Oh crap!  What hose had I punctured by driving over the fallen branches?

Looking around, all four of my tires had this green goop falling from their undercarriage.  It was tree blood!  This morning, as I walked past this place of death, I smelled that same smell and saw pools of green blood where normally we would have clear puddles.  A few brave people have traversed over this place strewn with body parts, crushing their pieces into pulp and liquid.  It made me feel very sorry for the one time I had driven over it.

I walked to the park.  On the way, the small trees which lined the sidewalk on the main road were all in a variety of dismemberment.  The first one I approached had broken at the trunk, the top of the tree laying helpless nearby.  Other trees were missing major limbs or smaller branches, their pieces heaped onto the sidewalk.  Not wanting to do any more damage, I walked around them.

When I arrived at the park, the sight that met me again brought a feeling of sorrow to me.  An old tree which stood sentinel by the lake had been greatly damaged.  The spot where a massive branch had broken off looked bare and raw.  Painful.  The large piece, along with all of the smaller pieces huddled around the tree, dying.  A new smell hit me.  It was the smell of dying tree, minus the now-familiar green smell of the blood.  The death was of decay and rot, not of pulverization.  I didn’t like it anymore than I had liked the other one. 

Unfortunately, this tree isn’t the only one like it.  There are so many trees I drive by which are showing their innards because a massive piece of them has been removed and discarded, leaving the gaping wound exposed to the elements.

I am looking forward to when the city is able to get it all cleaned up.  They are working on my road as I type, hopefully to have it done this evening.  I know they are working hard, but I am really looking forward to not having corpses or body parts lying about.

It reminds me of how sad the trees must be.

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