I just came into contact with an old childhood friend, Mary. We use to live in the same neighborhood as children,
along with Mary Kay, Jenna, and Zoe. We were all around the same age, and sort of friends, though there were some strained relationships. At any rate, there were times when Mary and I were really close, but I haven't seen her since her family moved away from the neighborhood and I went off to college. But she found me via facebook (of course), and though I had heard bits and pieces of her life's happenings, actually hearing from her was much more revealing than gossip, and it turns out that we have a lot in common. She has been living out west, going to school in Puget Sound, and spending a lot of time in the redwoods. I had heard that she'd spent time living in a tree for a while, but I didn't realize that she was actually tree sitting, that is protesting, with the same organization and many of the same people that Julia Butterfly Hill worked with. Its to strange and interesting to me that Mary Gonzalez would end up out there, and with one of the same passions that I have, trees.
I'm not really sure when I realized how wonderful and amazing trees are, but they really are. Trees can live so long, and be so incredibly big, or they can be as small as bonsai. Trees are home to so many other species that I couldn't possibly begin to name them all. Trees are found everywhere on this planet where there isn't an ocean. They are just so beautiful and grand, and I think that there is something very powerful and spiritual about forests, especially old ones like the redwoods. I don't think that that power is something that I could really describe, but I feel like its more relevant than other sources of spirituality because its grounded in something real and tangible, and environmentally really important. I know that there are a lot of people who would think that I'm silly and out of touch with reality for thinking so highly of trees, but there are also a lot of people out there who agree with me, like Mary Gonzalez.
When it comes to tree sitting, and general protesting in that area of the country, there is so much more at stake that trees and the spiritual value that people get from them. They also preserve our history, our past. They are the only living individuals that were here before Europeans arrived here. They are also a key member of the ecology out in the north west pacific area, and it is not true that new growth forests can act the same as old growth. But there are so many opinions, and sides to the argument out there, it is not easy to come up with any solutions. I sympathize with the people who make there living by logging, I know that they need to feed their families, but its the big companies that don't care about the environment what so ever, who are only in it to make money, that I wish could be stopped. It is just incredible the amount of damage that has been done, the amount of clear-cuts where the damage can't be fixed. There have even been towns that have been destroyed by mudslides because of irresponsible logging practices. This shouldn't happen. Something so precious as the fate these forests, these peoples homes, peoples lives, should not be decided on by companies whose only interest is money. The free market economy should not decide everything, when everything is left to the market to decide, really important things get trampled on, like the environment. Maybe this makes me a socialist, but I think that there should be some political body with the power to say that irreplaceable things should not be destroyed just because this country, which uses up so many resources that it would take 13 planet earths if everyone lived like us, wants something.
I think perhaps I've gotten a little off-topic in thinking about tree sitting. I'm not really sure what else I have to say. I don't think I can write anymore, this makes me too angry. Perhaps more on this topic later.