A young oak we named Red sways as it slowly grows in the backyard of our home. Planted years ago to blot out the houses that were exposed to our view when a neighbor cut down a mighty fir that used to be our scene.
The greenery is in retreat.
Last spring Red witnessed our immediate neighbor, unbeknownst to us; eliminate a 40’ hedge that suddenly exposed their every activity to us. Like kicking open an ant colony to see the ants in their many forms scurry about. We had no idea our neighbors were so active in their yard. We are painfully aware now.
A blight of some sort hit the ‘shimmering’ tree a couple of houses over. In the spring it’s leaves caught the sunlight and sparkled like diamonds whenever the slightest breeze caught them. And in the autumn the diamonds turned to gold. It wasn’t completely devastated but now a shadow of its former glory.
A giant row of trees near the municipal hall, great Lombardy poplars removed wholesale. Perhaps it was their time. The sudden scream of a chainsaw, during dinner no less. More green is ripped away as another neighbor decides his tree must go. A fence takes its place.
In the background the overt shouts of motorcycles and cars scurrying to and fro to destinations not necessary. Spewing out carbon that Red gladly inhales for us and in turn exhales the oxygen we need.
Red is still just a child. Protected, nurtured, attended to. But we won’t be here forever and one day too someone will decide it is time for that tree to go. Make room for a bigger deck or more play area for the kids or just sees it as a nuisance.
For now though, Red just grows. Ironically green in the early summer changing to the brilliant red by autumn. I do love the green that is still with us, there is plenty for now…and of course, there’s Red.