I knew those boys were up to no good thing when they put a great steel gate up across the old logging road. But I didn’t know what surprise their new “Private Property No Trespassing” sign held rigid within it. I suppose I knew the nature of the surprise, since I knew the general nature of the boys. They had been capitalizing on their inheritance for years, yet I didn’t think they’d decimate it.
When I was a child I used to walk through the strip of woods between our house and the old logging road. Contrary to what it looked like—a couple of dirt and stone tracks on either side of a tall line of grass—it was an adventure highway cutting through a forest kingdom that was either friendly or fierce depending on the way the light and clouds behaved.
Leave the road down long-sloping banks through woods and find coveys of trees with pine needle beds and a little brook with holes deep enough to cool off in and mint leaves on its banks to chew on.
Stay on the road and come upon a small shack of a building no longer in use, where shadows and noises are ghosts perturbed by human presence. And inside was stuff people used to use and the feeling they’ll return any moment to catch you touching it.
When I grew up, I ran on that road in the mornings, and over the years it went from dirt tracks to a wide, graded road with great rusty culverts the boys salvaged from somewhere. Then a few driveways began to sprout off it up to thankfully lovely and mostly inconspicuous houses.
After they put up the steel gate that blocked the road to the shack, I took the dog with me on a run down there maybe a few times, until I saw indications the boys were working a small-time operation of splitting logs.
Nothing much happened after that. But then I don’t always go as far as the crossroad. So this year when I did, not only was the gate gone, so were the all the trees big enough to bother cutting down.
My brain swam in a mix of loss and disorder with nothing to hold onto until it manufactured something tears could spring from, and I walked away with them clouding the road back to the house.
Anger brought me back with a camera. And later on, I got another angle of the damage when we drove to the dump, and the guy there said, “Say, what do you think about what those boys have done?” and he pointed back toward the mountain above our house and the extent of it, the great white swatch of an absent wood.
Way out in the country, damage is experienced more on a blank canvas as opposed to heavily populated cities full of manmade structures. And because of that, it speaks more starkly to humankind’s beginnings, its very existence, and the land that grows what’s needed to subsist on.
Now at the crossroad that leads down to the shack there’s a less assuming “Private Property No Trespassing” sign. And now there’s only to look at it, a plastic sign mounted to a post made from a tree on acres of land now stripped of trees, and its meaning is clear.
Green note: This winter’s pilgrimage back to the place of my wild and tortured youth brought a shock followed by a deep sadness. Same as the first Plight of the Trees, there was damage marked by the passing of the old year, but this time it was not Mother Nature’s fault.
Click here for more on prompt “SS2 #52 – the old year passes” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.
Other posts to do with the old logging road:
The Plight of the Trees
The One That Got Away
The Last Mile
The Same Wind (mention of the road is in CREDITS)
I love how you look at life – “it was an adventure highway cutting through a forest kingdom that was either friendly or fierce depending on the way the light and clouds behaved.”
And that’s what they spoilt. When nature is stripped,ruined it is like a cut to the soul, of which they have not.
Thanks so much, Miss Jules, for coming by with your lovely, on-the-mark words. At best, I’d like to think those boys hit on hard times, is why they did it, and not just to capitalize…
staking claims on that we can never really own…but can easily destroy for others…desolation row..on that cheery note however happy new year to you Miss A..very good to see you in this neck of the words..and woods xo
Brilliant way to put it, Jae. And thanks so much for coming by here. I didn’t expect anyone to ping off the SS2 site this late in the game. I wanted Plight2 to be linked there for posterity since Plight1 was linked there a year ago. Right, and HNY! to you too : )
Hello and a happy 2015 to you!
Despite the obvious anger at the nerve of those boys, it is still such a lovely white path, enchanting particularly in a place where paths never get white.
I hope you’re well. It’s always encouraging to me to check that you’ve still been writing in this place :)
Ms Mood, it’s awesome to see you! It’s good you came by since I broke tradition and didn’t make it to LISTP to commemorate its B-day. And it’s good your comment showed me where I needed to add more clarity to this post! I added captions to the “white path photos” as they were all taken in 2008 and what’s there now, at least at the crossroad to the shack, is shown in the very last photo taken November 2014.
Thanks again, my dear for brightening this place up…oh, yes, I’m well, and intend to keep things alive over here. It’s going to be harder than ever this year as I’ve got too much on.
So sad that man rapes mother nature. It is this mindless action and greed that is spoiling the world for everyone……
Helen! Thank you so much for coming by : ) As I mentioned to Jae I really didn’t expect anyone so haven’t prepared tea and cakes! Well, you’re right about the spoiling – it bugs me to no end every time I see pics of polar bears and their diminishing ice habitat and the like. I sure hope the whole climate accord deal struck between the US and China is the beginning of more efforts in that regard… What are the odds?
One it’s gone it’s gone and will never be the same. It’s a bloody shame though, in this instance and far too many others. I’m tempted but hesitate to call the perpetrators bastards because who knows their motivation or circumstances, plus they aren’t alone and far down the line we [over] consumers are also culpable if not in this then some how some where some way similarly.
Exactly. You’re right-on re: their circumstances and the down-the-line bit, those of us humans brought up in a capitalist economy anyway.
A belated “Welcome back!” EllaDee : )
That’s really sad. Some people just don’t appreciate that some things are worth more than money.
Definitely. There’s so much worth preserving–nature, endangered creatures, historic buildings and on and on–and it’s not easy to do with so many in positions of need or want for money.
Thanks so much for coming by, Icy : )