Falling Trees

My plan was to sleep in this lazy summer morning, free from the confines of work for the time being, ready to enjoy a cup of coffee in the leisurely way I love to do.

That was my plan,  My plan failed miserably.

Instead I awoke to the sound of what can only be described as a million bloody sandblasters outside my door.  Deciding to be reasonable about it, I get up and peer through my window to see what all the fuss is about, for it cannot be as bad as all that, now can it?

Apparently.

There are not a million sandblasters, there are millions chainsaws up in the beautiful pine trees, now hacking them to smithereens before my very eyes.  I knew this was coming, but somehow the sight of it all just makes me want to go tie myself to one of them like one of those batty green fanatics and demand their exoneration.  I’m not a tree-hugger, I swear, I just think they are one of the more beautiful things we have and we out to leave them alone when possible.

Obviously these men do not  feel this way, for they are fastly demolishing the only Christmas trees I ever have.  I step outside my door like a fool, just as a very large branch comes crashing down a few feet away from me.  The men in the trees start yellin’ and hollerin’ to each other, and I stand there looking dreamily around, as I’ve yet to have my cup-o-joe and am still half asleep.  “Hmm, I think to myself, wouldn’t that have been a romantic way to go.”

I notice that there are strips of yellow tape surrounding the front area of my porch, and that I’m standing within their confines.  In theory I should not be in danger, although apparently yellow tape means nothing to the tree murders.  They are still hollerin to each and I step back inside and close door.

As soon as I turn around, however, I see my two pups staring up at me with only one thought on their minds.  If they were human they would be hopping up and down on one leg, holding onto themselves for dear life. I realize they are about to spring a leak, and if I don’t get them out soon I am going to be dealing with Niagara falls all over my kitchen floor.

I slip their leashes on, this time making sure the sky isn’t falling before I lead them out,  and inform the murderers that I’ve gotta get my beasts to the grass.  They cease fire for a moment and watch as we trudge through what feels like a battlefield after a war with dead pieces of tree everywhere I look. We get to the yellow tape and it becomes suddenly clear to me that we’re about to put on a rather ridiculous show for those who are watching.

Goober, 165 lb Goober who behaves as if he’d kill anything that would try to harm me, suddenly becomes the spitting image of a cross between the cowardly lion and pluto.  Tail tucked, head down, eyes as big as bowling balls, he refuses to pass under the dreadful yellow tape for fear it will be the end of him.

The murders find this more comical than killing trees, apparently, and I say a few colorful words to them under my breath.

I spend the next five minutes attempting to distill Goober’s fear of the dreaded yellow tape whilst Lola looks upon us with a rather captious expression on her face.

Suddenly he decides to overcome his fright (while forgetting to tell me about it) and launches all three of us about 5 feet past where we were standing.  As I sit there and let them do their thing, I begin to smile as I notice a few tree killers start to inch away from us.  Apparently they did not suspect that he’d ever get to the other side of the tape and is now a bit too close for comfort.  Sensing their eyes upon us, Goober lets out a sudden howl to tell them all off and we walk back inside.

Lola rolls her eyes and I drink my coffee and we watch the trees come down outside my window.  They are gone now, save the scent of Christmas time they left in the air and the courage they instilled upon Goober of yellow tape.

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In the Jungles of Wailuku

Sometimes I feel I have more to say when less has happened in my life, perhaps because I prefer gentle contemplation to sifting through massive amounts of facts, information and events, most of which I find unimportant in most respects.  Unimportant in the sense that when all is said and done, it seems what matters in the end has little to nothing to do with such things, or what society may tell us is worth speaking of.

What I find myself writing about is quite a long ways from what I should be mentioning, I suppose, for it is of little importance in this world.  I can hardly myself however, for there is something in the ‘ordinary’ that will always draw me in, something quite extraordinary in the simple and unnoticed corners of this earth.

All that to say, it has been a very busy month filled with a great many things that have failed to bait my pen. They all ought to have, but I have learned never to force stories that do not want to be told.

​And so I have only one unlikely story to tell today. It begins at a jungle in Wailuku somewhere, a place I do not know the name of because I tend to forget such details.  My friends and I had been hiking for some time on a trail about a foot and a half wide, maybe, most of which was made of dirt and/or mud.  Some locals in the area had suggested we veer off the normal trail documented on some map and go for a bit more of an adventure along an unmarked trail.  I couldn’t have been more delighted by this notion, and my friends did not disagree.

Trees and foliage alongside and above our heads were so dense, there were times we could not see the sky or anything much to left or right, and the further in we got the denser it became.  ​After a few hours we were half covered in mud, as the ‘trail’ became less of a trail and more like a muddy slip-in-slide with branches and cliffs and hedges along the way. Twas glorious, and when it did open up it was like paradise.

At some point I became separated from the others, having gone into my ‘zone’ (as I tend to do in my happiest and most painful moments) and had pulled further ahead than I had intended.  Noticing that I was alone, I decided to stop for a moment and enjoy the beauty around me.

As I sat there, I listened to the trees and the leaves and water breath, and was as content and peaceful as I could imagine being. Suddenly, I was struck by a thought I could not rid myself of, one that has come to me often before but never so abruptly.  We began this trail with the intention of finding where it ended, discovering where it might lead.  Regardless of whether or not we found that ‘end’, the journey itself was the experience, not the destination.  Even if we knew (or thought we knew) where we were going, that is not why I came……I came for the journey.

Life is that way I think, though I often wonder if we forget that and begin focusing so hard on getting there that we fail to live at all.  There will always be another there to get to, but the in-between, the journey from point A to point B is what life is made up of.  If you wait to breath and live during the journey, you’ll miss most life, and what a tragedy that would be.  When we look back upon our lives, the mountaintops we deem so important may not be what we remember or hold dear to our hearts.

As Earnest Hemingway so rightly put it, “It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

 

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