Monday, April 4, 2011

The Dying Dyrad (with an update)

Yesterday afternoon, I looked out the back window of my apartment and was thinking that the tree in the yard needed to be trimmed. Imagine how shocked I was this morning when I woke up to one of the most ferocious sounds in existence: that of buzz saws ripping through the air. The beautiful tree was being cut down completely, its branches falling to the ground in a heap of bare spindly limbs. Whenever I see in person a tree being cut down, I swear I feel a lump in my chest, and the same happened this morning. It feels like slaughter to me. Admittedly, I'm being melodramatic, because the tree branches were interfering with the electrical wiring and were simply overgrown, but still it hurts. Thinking back, this extends to a sad childhood memory of when my parents decided to cut down the enormous weeping willow tree in our backyard. It was like losing a friend then, and it's the same even now. I think immediately that a Dryad is dying. Dryads are the spirits of trees in Greek mythology. The image you see here is Evelyn De Morgan's late Victorian painting of The Dryad. When a tree is cut down, the Dryad who lives in it cries aloud and dies along with the tree. It was tradition in ancient cultures that the man with the axe would seek the Dryad's blessing before cutting it down for their need, not unlike the thanking of the spirit of an animal killed for sacrificing itself to sustain humankind. Seeing the tree come down limb by limb I couldn't help but think about the hawk that has visited me and the way the snow has landed on the tree's bare branches creating a beautiful cascading blanket in white. I'm very glad now that I took the pictures that accompany those posts to remember her by. I'll have to look for spring buds on some other tree this year.

UPDATE: I bumped into the landlady's daughter a little while ago and discovered that indeed the tree coming down was not by choice. Apparently one of our neighbors started complaining about it being in their yard. Ah, well, what can you do. Today is a day for surprises though. I just turned the corner of my street, and they're filming a scene for a new horror movie called Hellbenders. I think I just saw actor Clifton Collins, Jr., but I have no idea who he is, so I came home before they yelled at me to get off the set (that happened to me twice when I accidentally walked onto the set of Gossip Girl while it was filming in if I want my cameo appearance to be on that show).

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