Today, as my son and I began our walk along the trail, some very high pitched squealing came along the tracks from behind us. I covered my ears as I continued walking. As the excavator type machine drove past us on the tracks, I commented that they should get their wheels oiled.
We kept walking, and soon could hear loud cracking sounds, as if trees were being torn up by their roots. Cautiously we kept going forward, wondering what the CP guys were doing. It was very loud, and we were afraid they were tearing up trees along the path.
Wanting to see what was happening, we continued on our way. Up ahead, this machine was tearing at the branches of a large tree that was on the path. We stood and stared for a long time. It seemed so destructive to me, and left me thinking of a hungry Brontosaurus tearing apart the limbs of a tree – but then, I imagine they ate more of the leaves, and not so much of the wood.
It appeared as if they were tearing out whole trees, as this one was so large that its branches could have been whole trees unto themselves, but it left such shattered injuries to the ends of the branches which were left,that I wondered how the tree would survive after that.
I suppose it was necessary to cut back the branches which were beginning to lean over the train tracks, which run parallel to the trail – but did they have to be so harsh about it?
In the past, as I have walked past that tree, I have pretty consistently noted to myself how much I have liked that tree. It was always so big, so healthy, so alive.
And suddenly this big, loud machine comes along like a heard of Brontosaurus on the tracks, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. When I couldn’t watch any longer, my son and I turned back towards home. Out of necessity, our walk had to be cut short today.
As we left the machine behind us, I was overcome with sadness – for the tree, for myself in knowing that my trail walk will be altered by this event, for the world as people come along and conquer… whether it is necessary or not, it hurts me to know how destructive people are on the world around us.
Some days… some days we have no ability to avoid or control change. It will happen whether we want it to, or not.