And there was something intense and horrible that happened two days before I left... I was far too raw to write about it then, but I'm going to try now. First, let me give you an image (guard your heart, it's hurtful):
Imagine there was a stray dog that always hung around your childhood house, which you rarely paid any attention to. You had never had any pets, so you didn't feel much about this dog -- it was just part of life. You go away for many years and return after you have lived with dog friends and learned how they communicate -- what the twitch of an ear or the thump of a tail signify. You realize that this dog is really pretty special, with how it faithfully guards and loves despite receiving nothing in return. For the first time you reach out to this dog, sit with zir for a little while and begin to feel excited about developing a friendship with zir. Then the next time you come to the house, you see the dog not only dead but ripped apart all over the yard, and you know that it was your parent who ordered it done. You thought you had explained how the dog was important to you, but ze either didn't listen or didn't care.
That's something of how I felt about Pat having the trees in the front yard just brutally murdered. Ze didn't even give me a chance to say goodbye, or give me any warning. Ze had mentioned 'removing' the trees but I didn't think ze would do it without talking to me again about it, since I told zir the idea deeply upset me. I just... fail to understand how a person can just take life for the sake of a LOOK. (Ze wants grass in the front yard) And... I thought ze was more sensitive than that!
I also feel strong regret because I didn't speak up as much as I could have, I didn't tell zir about the fact that yes, plants have feelings and spirits, and I connect with trees more deeply than with any other non-human creature. I wasn't ready to share that, and so they died and there is no getting them back. I know their spirits cannot truly be killed, but their opportunity to share shade and homes for insects and animals is gone. No more can they dance in the wind or nuzzle into the face of rain. No more can they make sweet shushusha music. No more can they put out living jewels of leaves. No more can they stand as guardians of wisdom and silent witnesses of love. How could their gift be so scorned? I don't think they will stay (like the yellow poplar on the Etowah Mounds), since they were killed in so cruel and selfish a manner -- not to protect anything but to produce a lawn like all the others. And that would only be fair, for them to be reborn elsewhere... but the house! I feel that it has been stabbed in the heart. The very soul of the house was in those trees... now it looks naked, like a skeleton stripped of skin and flesh and muscle, all organs laid bare.
I feel I cannot bear to go back there. Yet, that's where my parent is going to be living, possibly for the rest of zir life... I was planning on living there also, for at least a time. I don't know how to heal this, really, how do I mourn? Pat wants me to come over and spend time with zir, painting and working on the house, and I really just can't even imagine that. Somehow I have to find a way to say goodbye... I may see if there will be a time when there will be no one else at the house, and go there to apologize to the few who were left standing, and say goodbye to each of the stumps.
the Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
but I know every rock and tree and creature
has a life, has a spirit, has a name
And we are all connected to each other
In a circle, in a hoop that never ends