I don't think there has ever been a season in my life where I've witnessed so many huge old trees being felled as I have this spring. We've been doing a lot of driving, from Edmonds to Carnation to Fall City and back again. We do this way too many times in a week, at a time when gas prices are rising like crazy and all I want to do is settle into my new home and make it livable. Where I can have my organics delivered and my farm fresh milk delivered and walk Luke to school… oh yes, I was talking about the trees. Falling all around me. On the sides of the highway where they are widening the road, or putting a new ramp in or maybe just building a bridge? I'm not sure. The bridge has all these stamped leaves in the concrete though, pretty. Perhaps a tribute to all the trees they've killed to make this bridge/road happen. Trees that fall in slow motion, bending, creaking… crashing.
Then there is the old country road that goes from Redmond to Carnation. They must be widening that by a couple of lanes - there are horrible orange nettings all along the sides of the roads slicing a line in the marsh lands and farm lands and forests… and it is in this area that more huge old cedars and maples have fallen before my eyes. A graveyard of branches and stumps left behind, an open sore where there should be a wall of new spring green baby leaves growing among the evergreens. Earth being moved and filled in with big sharp rocks and driven over and over again by huge machines. Quaint barns and old farm houses once set comfortably off the road are now right next to the road, or what will be when they are done. My favorite old gingerbread brick farm house with the old glass windows… now sitting right in the middle of all the construction, a chunk of their pretty fenced in yard taken over by the state I guess.
And then there are the mansions going in behind the carnation house, my Tree House. Tree after tree fell, and then the burning for weeks. Not very earth friendly at all. It broke my heart to watch that lovely forest, home to our family of deer and the two raccoons who used to come and eat the cat food on the porch… and the great old owl who hoots in the night, fall away, crash down, and go up in smoke. All to build yet another mansion. The deer will find new beds, the raccoons will find new trees. Who knows where the owl will go.
Progress. Change. I'm sure there are people excited about these things. Perhaps the apartments along side the road will get more light, emergency drivers will be glad to have a more direct route off the highway to the hospital, the gingerbread house owners should have gotten paid a nice sum for their chunk of front yard… and the new owners of the Tree House will probably get sunset views now (though I think I'd still prefer to look east from that location at sunset, the mountains get so orange and then purple sometimes) and perhaps there are new opportunities for landscaping back there now… who knows.
What I know is that today, even though life is crazy right now and we are in the throes of moving and wasting gas driving back and forth, back and forth… I'm going to plant something. Today. In between moving and packing and cleaning. I will plant something in memory of all the trees that have fallen in front of my eyes this spring. A little tree, or a shrub of some sort, that will grow big and strong, I don't know, I need to see what is available at the nursery still… just a little something to make up for one little stretch of new concrete, for one tree that went up in smoke. And I will continue to dream of the day when I can stop burning through the gas and settle in to our new, Green life in the city.