Yesterday our neighborhood lost the last of the Ash trees that once lined our parkways. The sounds of chainsaws and…

Yesterday our neighborhood lost the last of the Ash trees that once lined our parkways. The sounds of chainsaws and woodchippers were overwhelming.
I am deeply saddened by the loss. What a difference a year and a beetle make.

When Great Trees Fall

“When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”
― Maya Angelou


  1. I know the feel 😦  The neighborhood I grew up in lost 99% of all the prevalent and majestic Ponderosa pines to the mountain pine beetle.  (Luckily the maples and fruit trees were immune, however minimal).  Seeing all the trees dead one year and gone the next was rather eerie.  Unfortunate for homeowners as they were all on private property and had to be removed since they became brittle and hazardous.  Where I live now, Dutch Elm disease is leaving its trail much the same way to street trees.  Hopefully the municipality where you are replants them for future generations.


  2. BobbieZen  Do you remember the painting of a tree-canopied road in my office? I drove down that road today and where two mighty oaks once stood covering their part of the drive, there were six-foot wide stumps.

    In what appeared to be a memorial to the shelter, shade, and habitat they provided, someone had placed colorful flowers around the base of the stumps.

    There’s a big hole of light where it doesn’t belong. It hurts my heart. to look at it


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