Waking up to a forecast of rain and after hours of sleep troubled by the sound of nearby logging, I reached for a long, layered skirt and a close-fitting top. I’ve noticed this inclination before, wanting the protection and cosy feeling of skirts brushing my ankles and a snug-fitting bodice sometimes. It always makes me wonder about past-lives when this happens.
Walking into the kitchen, my gaze is pulled to the glowing buttercups below the storm-grey sky. Then three of the buttercups astonish me when they take flight…until I realize they are goldfinches and see that there are dozens flitting amongst the apple trees…and then a thread of azure is woven with the gold as our bluebirds join in. When I can tear myself away from the window, I quickly feed the hens and then retire inside to drown out the logging with something on the radio.
Late in the afternoon, I need to rescue our goat from a rain shower and go, umbrella in hand, to the barn. I revel in the loud drumming of the rain on the roof that negates any other sound, as I spread a layer of fresh straw. When the rain suddenly stops, the logging sounds louder than ever…it sounds, in fact, like it is in our own woods and I stride out of the paddock and up to the top of the front drive where I can see the eastern boundary of our property.
The trees on the border are still there, of course, it was just a trick of sound. And the telling-off that I had imagined and ready is tucked away, tho’ I cannot tuck away the feelings of grief and frustration as I hear the sound of the saw so near. It would have been a relief in some ways, to have been able to vent. Instead, after I watch the tops of our trees gently swaying in the wind, I take my wet skirts in hand and make my way back to the shelter of the house. But as I hang up my damp clothes, I pull out another long skirt and pair with it a long-sleeved t-shirt…not something I usually wear, but this one has a tree hand-printed on its front, and is snug enough for comfort.
For all of my striding and anger, I don’t know that I would have actually relished a confrontation. Those men who are logging are just doing the job they were hired to do. But I am glad to be able to express my solidarity in this small way.
I just noticed that they’ve stopped logging for today. We can all have some peace for awhile. And now I can think of other things again…goldfinches and dandelions glowing white and all of the trees still standing and those being planted at this very moment…somewhere…and thoughts like this can slip in, in the quiet…
“This turning towards what you deeply love, saves you.”
Laurie May 8, 2013 at 2:11 am
I too have listened to the loggers next door in the past, and it can be a hard thing. The Rumi quote is perfect. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for skirts and dresses at thrift shops, but haven’t found what I’m looking for. If you can share anything about where you find your favorites, that would be most welcome.
Lesley Austin May 8, 2013 at 3:29 am
I do find most of my long skirts at the thrift store…that is a glimpse of one I wore today in the last photo. With thrift stores, I find that you have to be a regular visitor and you will eventually find some lovely things. I do buy XCVI skirts on ebay, when they are inexpensive…they are my favorites. We are going to be plumbing the depths of clothing and dressing and how to it in a way that is expressive of ourselves and keeping the earth in mind at Wisteria & Sunshine in the weeks to come. Several members have asked for it after the Bangladesh fire and it is a constant challenge, so it will be good to talk about it.
Lynn May 8, 2013 at 2:30 am
Oh, to have bluebirds…but not loggers. I’m so sorry. I can relate in a small way, because every year the “tree butchers” come around my neighborhood and give savage lopsided haircuts to trees with branches too close to the power lines. Last year I stood defiantly outside (with camera) and watched them until they approached our beautiful maple. One of the men came forward uneasily and said “Don’t worry, ma’am, we won’t have to cut much off of your tree.” I looked at him squarely and sternly and said, “I hope not.” And sure enough: here they had worked their way up the street slashing the dickens out of every single tree, but when they got to mine they barely touched it. I was overwhelmed with relief! But also surprised by the magnitude of my anger. I am hoping I can be as assertive next time…
sarah May 8, 2013 at 3:15 am
I’m so very sorry about the loggers. We don’t have them here … the neighbourhood has already been ravaged of its manuka forest, all those medicine trees, and the land still cries for it … but a while ago I watched the beautiful trees on our horizon begin disappearing one by one. To see them go and to know there was nothing I could do to stop it …
Lesley Austin May 8, 2013 at 3:22 am
Yes, it is just agony, to not be able to stop it. Oh, to have the world just take a breath and think before we go any further in this way. I am anxious now, me who is almost never anxious, over the one, longest, dearest view that has yet to be logged for us. And then when I think of the earth as a whole…
There is always something positive to do in response. I shall have to come up with what mine will be next…
Lynn May 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm
Yes! Even though it gets so overwhelming that it’s hard even to crawl out of bed in the morning, with logging here and sand mining there (this is what my friend Barb is contending with in Wisconsin), GMO foods and GMO trees (!)…there IS always something positive to do in response. One herbalist I know chooses to be what she calls a “vagabond gardener” (//www.morganbotanicals.com/j15/herbal-blog/entry/my-gardens-my-legacy.html). Another suggests planting even just one endangered medicinal plant in one’s garden (goldenseal, black cohosh…). And we can plant trees – or help with funds so others can do so.
Thank you for your courage that inspires me to keep on keeping on, Lesley.