Saturday, December 11, 2010

tenderness of trees

This writing is about questions that have no answers.

In the early 70s ,we lived in Aurora,Colorado,a suburb east of Denver.I missed so many things I had left behind.Maple trees were the greatest lost after family and friends.

Where I grew up on Long Island, the streets were lined with maples.We grew up together.Whatever I knew of beauty, I learned from them.The soft snow resting on filigreed limbs,the reds,yellows and oranges of Fall that we tried to hold in paraffin wax,the first light green buds of spring.Especially, I remember the corner lamppost shining through the green summer leaves.Magic.

Denver is on the Great Plains and trees there are almost non-existent.You have to go West to the mountains to see pines and aspen.However, down on the plain there were cottonwoods that grew along the High Line Canal, east of the city,that is feed by water from the South Platte river.They were not maples,not as full and a lighter green but they stood grandly ,following the canal and they were treasured by tree lovers.As I would drive by,they would give me pleasure.

One night, a chain saw came out and in darkness,a resident cut down the ones that blocked his view of the peaks,it is assumed.All of Denver mourned.The canal now has a 66 mile green space next to it for recreation and I am sure the trees are legally protected but then the vandalism went unchecked.

I thought of this when a friend sent an article describing another travesty,this time in England.

Thursday morning the people of Glastonbury woke up as usual,put on their whistling tea kettles and looked up to Wearyall hill and the Thorn Tree that grows there high above their houses.The tree was planted in 1951 from the roots of a tree that sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea stuck in the ground 2000 years ago in this town.

A thorn tree lives for about 100 years and so the locals keep planting sprigs to keep the tree going, all from the same root and it is from antiquity. The tree is a site for pilgrims and is the anchor,the surety of the small town.

Each year a branch is cut from the tree and sent to the Queen to rest on her Christmas table and she always send a thank-you note.Continuity.History.

Thursday morning the tree was no more.In the dark,someone had cut off all the branches and left them around the tree.And the people look up at the absence.

This reminds me of the New Yorkers who could see Manhattan from their homes in Brooklyn,the Bronx and other points.They look over now and the skyline is off, not balanced and they remember.The sheer waste and pointless destruction.Still.

There is a lack in some human hearts,a hatred that springs from a misalignment with the Creator.These are the people who torture cats or cut trees for the malice of it.Or take down towers because they can.

Where is the tenderness?The gratitude.

The thorn tree in England has been cut before by dolts and cowards who come at night.But I have this vision of April 25,2011.The townspeople are walking up the hill with strollers;old people are coming with walkers,girls with daisy chains on their flaxen hair and boys on bikes will come and stand around the tree.And then Life will reveal what it is.Pushing out green,renewing, regenerating as it always does.And the crowd in the hushed air will look down and see the new sprouts and start to clap and the applause will build.Maybe we should do this every time we see a new bud or a sprout that we don't deserve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These 'dolts' who do this harm appear to be angry products of harm themselves. Evil goes on and on.
As I helplessly watch a grandchild mentally twisted and tormented by parents who were themselves products of abuse, I have become acutely aware of the pervasive power of evil in this world.
An obsessive-compulsive, controlling, mean-spirited father, was himself the product of an OC sadistic, mean-spirited father. Despite a loving mother who removed him from the home as a teen, his mental problems are many.

A phlegmatic, lackadaisical, ineffective mother does little to help provide an anchor in the storm. She was badly abused as a child, given over to several foster homes where leaving each was a traumatic tear at her heart, and finally adopted. The mother can't/doesn't provide the emotional shelter and direction the child needs.

Now the parents are separated and the emotional problems have increased. The child has been seen teasing and hurting her kitten; she damaged her cousins new toy pony last Christmas when the cousin wasn't there...poking it full of holes with a sharp object; she was caught tormenting her aunt's dog when she thought she was not seen, and has been observed throwing silent rages with fists flying and mouth speaking hate.

My heart is breaking. Can no one stop this cycle of abuse, rage,and sadistic behaviour? Once it was rare, now it is much more widespread in our society. {Remember the experiments with rat's behavior--the more crowded they were in the cage, the more they attacked/killed each other?} We are praying and trying to help but the father mostly manages to bullt the mother into keeping the child away from us.

This situation is so painful to me b/c her mother was our adopted child. We had great love and plans for her. We thought she had adjusted well and had a happy life, happy marriage, happy home. Now her marriage has failed b/c she married a quiet sadistic, controlling, bully. It took her 16years to tell us and find the courage to separate. She is living paycheck to paycheck. The father cares for my grandchild most of the time while her mother works to provide for her.
I see the beginnings of sociopathic behavior in my grandchild.