For many years I have admired this incredible stand of Western Redcedar beside the road that I travel. Almost daily I rested my eyes upon the lush beauty of this thick growth of evergreens which appeared to form an impenetrable wall along the road. It was dark beneath the trees in the few places that I could see an opening, and I could almost imagine that they were part of a great forest that extended for miles and miles. I would fantasize about hiking through this forest, smelling its sweet incense and listening to the wind soughing in their branches. In the winter they presented an indescribable scene, with their thick boughs weighed almost to the ground, their tops bent over with great masses of snow. As the years passed, I grew fearful for their safety living as they did in a city dominated by Weyerhaeuser (“the tree growing company”) and which seems to have no zoning, allowing developers to strip vast swathes of forests to the bare earth, removing every bush, every hint of vegetation, in order to put in new housing editions, shopping centers and storage units. I assumed they were spared because I knew that this magnificent tree loves having its roots wet, and I thought that perhaps these trees were growing in a boggy area. I also had the naive thought that they were part of a local watershed that was being protected.
I just drove past where my old friends have been growing since time out of mind.
The trees are gone. Only stumps remain along with “slash,” the broken branches and detritus left over from the logging operations. A pile of these giants lie stacked awaiting the logging trucks. A great bleeding wound is left on the earth.
It’s not the first time that I’ve shed tears over such.