The great illusion is stasis. That what and who we have today will be the same tomorrow. This is ridiculous, of course, when we permit ourselves to think about it for two seconds, but it hangs on with utter tenacity in our psyches, allowing us to face the short-term tasks of our day with relative equanimity while the specter of every last thing’s impermanence is shunted to the background.
Whatever it is—our people, our pets, our homes, our jobs, our health, our wealth—there they are, ready and available and alive in perpetuity. Until they’re not.
That illusion of permanence goes double, it seems to me, for our trees.
Sturdy, rooted, unmovable, voracious, trees upend our sidewalks, shade our homes, drop their leaves then grow them back—season upon season, decade after decade, through heat, cold, and various degrees of neglect from the humans who make use of them.
And there they stand, towering an...Read More