Crows witness tree crucifixion…. THEY WON’T LET ME GO – Is this because their dying represents the death of Nature as I knew her? Of the being I call me? Both? Even when I go to places without trees like the ones I have on this mountain my eyes strain to find them as if these ‘love trees’ lived everywhere – I came to hills to escape the gut wrenching weeping of one maple after her belly was ripped out – the old apple who said ‘don’t go’ as I wrapped my arms around her on May Day …. at the door of my driveway I abandoned land I loved – ‘too small’ I said and searched for more protection from the storm that was coming – the one that ate me alive – my children – animals, the trees – chipped them into fragments, ground them into toxic air – not that I plead innocence. I raped my land – in my grief stole – dug as much as I could – ripped plants and flowers from rich moist earth – left holes behind that became a haunting – how could I have been so cruel? I wanted this patch of earth to come with me – I loved those old apple trees with a ferocity I still don’t understand – five years of dreaming about them before they faded into crevices in my mind but memory doesn’t die- and now almost 40 years later I’m leaving these trees too? – precious land that once told me that I was loved by something that rose out of the earth? A financial advisor told me to make a list of all the pros and cons of staying or leaving. Only one reason to stay I wrote: Love. I buried raw feeling under practicalities, and soldiered on – after all aren’t we all at war? Fearing the deep well, the wall of shame – Difference. There must be a way to keep an aging body safe when white ice and snow (lily b sings) return until the first blush is on the moss – not saying goodbye just sleep while I am gone – I love you – and we could have had a few more years together before it becomes time to meet my beloved, return to the forest that birthed me – Both And – not either or – don’t make that mistake again – you have a choice take it along with guns, fire and heat and be thankful for the trees that shelter you from the sun and watch the golden apples bloom – come November you can leave for awhile and we will stay as one – like the day you signed, sold your soul and your mother pine roots rumbled – bled fire into the house and you pulled her needles from your mouth – we are one she said – don’t separate us – don’t do it again – both and not either or – don’t let them sway you or let your fear betray you – we are one keep us whole and we’ll help you when we can for we are the stuff you are made from – remember your bones belong with us that’s what they said. Once I left land that was too small its tree lined edges raped by dirty yellow machines – progress they told me – now monsters gash holes in the earth all around me as they rip up not only trees but all their roots – smooth hell over and pack dirt down with another machine with claws – if I leave this house I leave the tree soul who has been allowed to thrive on this small oasis of forested young pines opening to a flower strewn meadow, field pines spreading their elephantine arms inviting birds to join them, a hemlock forest sheltering wild folk whose roots thrive near flowing waters, fruit trees whose colors throw me into prayer – magenta, rose, pale pink, pearl white showers of grace – how can I leave them when so few are left even those who speak to rewilding call the forest “it” refusing personhood to these Ancient Beings whose shapes dream me in my sleep – stately balsam – bowed hemlocks – cedar lace – shaggy beech nut clumps, burnt oak, purple cherry, maple fire in fall – old spruce whose twigs are draped with usnea (medicine free of charge) that clears clogged particulate lungs, alders bend nitrogen, birches tumble too infusing hungry soil with nutrients, a forest of becoming still a future, if just for now, a miracle of light showing me how to drop each needle when it’s time. It’s too late they tell me – Betrayal by the Crow moon in spring and me and those who live the Shadow where money reigns as the golden god of greed – I tried to save us too late – and now I must go – forever after my eyes, my heart, will search out what I lost… And twice… I leave earth I love to those whose hearts are dead, humans that cannot see.
Postscript: after making a terrible mistake it was this post that changed my mind – just in time.