They raped the forests of my youth for old growth lumber, their saws buzzing all day, every day with the foul diesel exhaust overwhelming the smell of loam and ancient pines that lingered before. A summer of wanton destruction, as they stole my secret wild gardens and ravaged them to truncated penis stumps all waist high.
No more meandering trails to lose parents lacking internal compasses. No more sudden blur of tawny brown as a doe decided she’d stood still enough. No squirrels making stomach-churning jumps from branch to branch. No grouse, no snakes, no frogs, no lizards, no life. Worst: no birds. Just rolling hills of severed pine, aspen, birch, oak, ash. No fey.
And, still, they were not satisfied with the pillaging they’d wrought, so they brought in their bulldozers and earth-movers and leveled each offending piece of wood that remained in the ground, treads tearing the earth, obliterating habitats, homes, and burrow. Drained some swamps, or filled them in.
Then the final blasphemy as they planted quick-growing pines in rows and columns (only pines), little saplings that could be harvested again in thirty years. No diversity. No esthetics. No nature-building. No wild berries. No soul. It felt as if they’d murdered all the spirits in that place; I think I heard those spirits crying with me as they drifted away.
Just scrawny saplings with a few needles attached to the center. Sterile and almost dead.
I cried again, hoping the tree-house I’d build years before, hidden away in the depths away, my refuse against the bullying of cousins, aunts and uncles, broke their fucking machinery at least once. But I doubt it.
It’s about that time that I think part of me died. It was about the time I’d become an honest to god teenager when it occurred, about the time the lingering depression in me woke and has never left since.
Since then, the closest I came to finding the same sense of joy and wonder as I did on those winding, overgrown paths through ancient woods was when I did hit some urbanx, exploring forgotten and abandoned places in the downtown. But then they took those away, too, and barfed up yuppie condos to take their place.
Both things were atrocities committed in the name of progress and greed.
There is no end to this story.