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Climate Sorrow

Climate sorrow, if I can call it that, opens up into wretched states of mind and heart.

“They used to take one tree down per year,” Dad offered a piece of history much more novel than other farm based stories.


“Yeah, that’s what Dad said. Used to be trees between the trees. Had a better chance of supporting each other.”


We can find it unbearable. Without even meaning to repress or split off our feeling, we do so. I am doing so now as I write.

“They’re silver maples. Popular tree but a swamp tree. Grow in low areas and never have to face winds like these. They’re in the wrong place,” Dad rationalized away hurt. “Besides people around here don’t care about trees. Not like out east. That’s where most of the peddlers came from that sold these trees.”


“Things that leave scars,” I wrote. “Surgery. Trauma.”

Staying with such feelings can be bruising and can make us feel helpless and despairing. It is hard, very hard, to stay with, and yet there is value in this if we can create contexts for doing so.

He rocked his chair forward and back. “Uncle Huey said the only place trees belong is in a forest.”

We both sighed. I lowered my eyes. Irony. Were. Was. Should. Could.

Another car slowed outside from 55 to 15 miles an hour, a better speed for staring. No doubt these trees deserved better.

Things that leave scars, I finished. “Cutting trees.”


*Quote taken from This is not a drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook (66-67)

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