about two weeks ago, i had a very real feeling dream. i woke up in a sweat, stressed out about a property down the street from me that sold a few months ago - a big beautiful colonial on a gorgeous double lot, sacred space here in this city-burb called winchester.
the side yard, which can be viewed from the curb, is home to two spectacular trees, an oak and a beech. they must be 150 years old b/c their trunks are rock solid and probably four feet wide. i love beech trees. they are my favorite. i love the uniqueness of each beech. some have super tall with trunks that stretch forever. others are more squat with branches that are as long as the tree is high. still others split at the base and provide the best branches for climbing and monkeying. there are a few truly amazing beech trees in my neighborhood. for local winchester peeps, there's an inspiring tree on foxcroft between salisbury and wedgemere. then there's another in a neighbor's backyard on church street. it's probably the fattest and most awe-inspring tree i've ever seen. the owners created a gorgeous meditation garden around the tree and treat it as the treasure it is. the other beech is the one that sits proudly on this double lot, the one that just sold.
back to my dream. in it, my husband and i bought the property. we were unloading moving trucks when someone came over and said we couldn't have the attached second lot. we started flipping out b/c we love those trees and the man told us it was too late to do anything. then a tree removal team came in and started tearing down the branches of the beech tree. i woke up completely disturbed. my heart raced. i was confused.
i had hoped that the double lot was purchased by a single family who would cherish the home and the surrounding landscape. then, the day after my dream, i drove by and saw a demo team tearing apart the structure set wide on the double lot.
they divided the lot. mother fucker.
i thought about the tiny seeds from which those trees grew. i thought about the hundreds of years that passed while their branches reached higher and trunks grew in girth. i thought about the storms they survived and the animals they sheltered and the carbon dioxide they absorbed. and then i cried. i started to mourn these poor trees who flourished for so many years, only to be hacked down for the love of money.
i called the realtor today, just to see what was happening, to see if there was any way those trees could be saved. it was obvious to me that the trees meant nothing to him, meant nothing to the builder who plans to destroy them so he can erect a mcmansion for 1.9 million.
so now, though the trees still stand, the dying process has begun. i think of them as being in hospice now, dying with dignity. their days are numbered, as are ours. so i paid my respects today. i clipped an armful of white hydrangeas from my bushes and laid them at the base of the lovely beech tree. within the pompoms of the bouquet, i nestled a little note for anyone curious enough to investigate. "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." -Chief Seattle
i pointed the trees out to my children and explained to them what was happening and why. i invited them to join me as i said a prayer for the trees and pressed my palms into their sturdy trunks. while my offering will not save their lives, i can only hope that the effort might cause someone to take pause before mindlessly destroying such gorgeous natural beauty.
museums display paintings and sculptures worth millions of dollars, and here we are with a work of nature so bold and so inspiring, and all we want to do is demolish it.
all of this talk makes me feel discouraged. hopeless. frustrated. powerless. and while wrapped up in those feelings, the universe has been gifting me with the exact opposite.
hope is an extraordinary feeling. my first sign of hope sprung forth from my children through their ordinary displays of acceptance. ready to forgive, ready to love, ready to believe, ready to make the planet a better place. and they will do just that, i absolutely believe that is true.
and then the second sign cropped up while i watched a documentary produced by national geographic called the great barrier reef. i've actually been to the GBR. learned all about it, then forgot everything i learned. i guess back then the lesson didn't stick, even as i paddled around the reef and admired its bright colors and alien-looking creatures. but watching this documentary, i was inspired to reconnect with hopefulness and was grateful to be in a space of mindfulness while it aired.
did you know that 20,000 years ago, the GBR didn't exist? it was just a mass of land, plains inhabited by wildlife and aboriginal tribes. 10,000 years ago there was a great flood. thousands of miles of coastline disappeared under the ocean's waves and in its place, a magnificent coral reef developed, attracting and supporting a whole new world of extraordinary sea life. most of the documentaries i've seen, specifically films about coral reefs, leave me feeling despair. after viewing countless pictures of truly breathtaking sea life, the narrator inevitably closes by telling the audience that the reef is dying b/c human beings suck.
but this program was different. this program planted a seed of hope. yes, the narrator said that coral is being destroyed by the rise in ocean temps and by the surplus of carbon monoxide being absorbed by the coral. but. there's a but. (isn't that word "but" hopeful in itself?) but. in a certain cycle of the moon, the tides are just perfect for coral to spawn. eggs and sperm fill the water and unite forming larva which float away on currents and nest in an entirely new location. and then they multiply. they survive. they find a way! because that's what nature does! mother nature is a survivor!!!!
this planet has seen a lot of shit go down. horrible things have happened, but the earth finds a way to make lemonade from lemons. it just takes time.
think about all the other beautiful natural events that have come about from great pain. volcanos spew lava charring everything in sight, but results in gorgeous islands which breed new life. quakes and rifts caused the pangaea to break up and drift apart, creating new coast lines and climates, allowing new species to evolve, to thrive. manure fertilizes our gardens and yields brightly colored veggies to aid in our survival. and then there's the easiest event for us mommies to relate to: giving birth. i've had natural childbirth three times, so i know pain. burning, searing, excruciating pain gives way to baby love, a tiny being full of wonder and potential... and, yes, hope.
the earth will give birth to an evolved version of itself, too. and the earth isn't sad about this. people say sometimes that the earth is crying, the planet is suffering. i'm not sure i believe that anymore. i think the earth remains neutral, as do the forces of the universe. because the earth will regenerate. the universe will continue to love. humankind, however, is just passing through. we will only last as long as we are able. we have no power here on earth, just the responsibility to take care of her the best we can. and if we continue to treat the earth callously, she'll spit us out. that's all. and then the next phase of evolution will come about.
it's all just a matter of time. so why not do the right thing while we rule the school?
i'm still torn up about those trees coming down in my neighborhood, but i cannot suppress the enormous feeling of hope that is rising in my chest. there is nothing we can do to mother nature that will keep her down. but by sacrificing the earth's natural resources to line our pockets will certainly shorten the human era. if we care enough, we can teach our children better. the best way to teach them is by example. create balance and harmony with your environment the best way you know how, and see how the wave of your mindful lifestyle washes over your family and your community.
peace, love, gratitude,