I Speak For the Trees

“I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees, which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please!”
― Dr. Seuss

I spend a lot of time walking outside. It’s good for me, it’s great for my young beagle, Twix, and it gives me some time to breathe in fresh air, be in touch with nature and just clear my mind. Considering that I spend much of my time sitting in a room with no windows, nasty fluorescent lights overhead, with zero control of the temperature (which is always uncomfortable), it’s an essential respite in my day.

Just outside my neighborhood there has been a stand of trees, something of a buffer between one of the busiest, noisiest freeways in the world and our little slice of the American pie. There is a feeling of peace walking among these trees, nothing like the breathtaking and indescribable beauty of the Pacific Northwest’s majestic and ancient pine forests, but peaceful, nonetheless.

Last week, they arrived.

It was inevitable, of course. No one likes to see trees outside the window of their cars as they speed down the freeway, right? I mean, who even looks outside unless they’re trying to find a quick, unhealthy meal or a restroom? I suppose, from that point of view, the bulldozers that began ripping and tearing out the beautiful trees were performing a community service. I just don’t happen to share that point of view.

A few months from now, there will no doubt be a couple of hundred new houses, or, god forbid, apartments where those trees once stood. After all, with interest rates hovering around zero there is a housing boom on in state-income-tax-free Texas. People are flocking in from the exorbitantly expensive California, especially since the more and more prevalent forest fires keep burning people out of house and home. The comparatively low cost of living in Texas is a huge draw. The trees are a necessary sacrifice, an impediment to “progress” and profits, the relentless pursuit of which has come to define America more than anything else.

Yes, I am a tree hugger. I understand how vital they are to our planet’s health and to the very survival of life on Earth. I also happen to enjoy walking among them, feeling the life force that radiates from their branches.

So today I write this as a way of giving a eulogy for those faithful companions from my daily walk. They will be missed.

Go ahead and call me The Lorax.

I speak for the trees.


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