Shadows

I’d originally had it in mind that writing to you each Sunday sunset would be done from some High and Holy space within.

That is still my intention, that space is in there still…

HOWEEVAH, a couple things are impinging: one of course is my husband’s frail physical condition. We still handle him by intuition and angelic intervention, rather than from any tradition or advice from a sage which would’ve been so reassuring were they available! Rebuilding organs has not been thoroughly explored, and we are occasionally presented with unexpected consequences. This is unnerving, but at least it is not the Wild Card type of event produced by pharmaceutical drugs!

The other shadow is from TREES. Or better, the lack of them…

We live at the back of a valley about 10 miles from a defunct logging town. It is defunct partly because they cut down most of the trees 150 years ago, but also because of our White Man’s Ways, which have culminated in dominance by multinational corporations.

The most recent event in this travesty of sensibility is: Weyerhauser’s hostile takeover of Willamette Industries, which was paid for by stripping all resources of the subject company.

This includes a 40-acre clearcut up the hill from us.

Here’s a greater perspective: Clinton’s forest plan was borne on the back of Lane County here. I mean, trees remain elsewhere in exchange for stripping this area. Driving out the Mohawk valley is no longer a delightful tourist experience– the hillsides and skylines are jagged and bare.

There are a couple of alarming ramifications to this disaster/tragedy:

First is, these clearcuts will not be allowed to return to forest, but will become factory farms. They will grow only trees that are popular for lumber (monoculture). The trees will gain a footing through the use of herbicides related to Agent Orange, to eliminate broadleaf plants like bigleaf maple. They will have been selected for quick growth, to maximize harvest in 30-40 years– this means the growth rings will be wide, not tight. Those conditions produce lumber that is without strength and is liable to warp.

The clearcuts are sprayed 2 or 3 times. If every clearcut I see while driving up Marcola Rd receives this treatment, what will that do to our water, our health? If all that grows is Doug fir, what will our wildlife subsist upon?

Okay, now for a larger look:

Big trees are hydrological systems. This means they are tied in with the water table. It’s baldly obvious– with tree cover, rain never touches the ground. It eventually makes it down there as old tree bathwater, carrying nutrients and other little particles to nurture the soil. Water soaks in slowly, deeply.

Without trees, the water rushes off the land, carrying the topsoil with it– topsoil which took centuries to form from Nature’s thorough, slow and laborious breakdown process.

The two little creeks on our land are terribly muddy, moreso every year. Our topsoil is moving quickly down the valley and out to sea. How can a fish breathe in that murk?

And worse: the needles on the highest tips of an old mature tree are different from other needles: they are designed to condense moisture out of the air. That’s what that bumpersticker means: “BIG TREES BRING RAIN”. An adolescent tree (30-40 years old) just doesn’t cut it. Can’t. Not tall enough or old enough!

Then there’s the cathedral nature of an old forest. ‘Tree-hugger’ has been thrown around as a derogatory term, BUT all of mankind has had a special relationship to trees, whether as Druid or even lumberjack. Did you know that after WWII, the US of A hired Canadian loggers to go throughout Germany and cut down the heritage trees in every city and village? Why do you spose they did THAT? Looks like demoralization to me. Looks like the powers that be are aware of that connexion! In the early years of our own country, our founding fathers sanctified meetings and document signings by staging them under some magnificent oak, or ofwhatever species was the reigning local tree. It’s true, it’s there, and we all know it.

I’m heading into a rant. Gonna save that for the local newspaper, and my congresspeople.

So my dear. These two shadows are dimming my Light. I comfort myself with the analogy that even if the weather is overcast, the sun still shines above the clouds. As above, so below…

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