Friday, August 19, 2011

Saving Trees

I'm amazed at the latent memories that live inside me, waiting to pop back up at minute provocation. Sometimes I lie awake at night trying to raid those dark corners of my mind where memories huddle. I attempt to find one that I didn’t even know was there. But typically new memories refuse to be stirred without being conjured by a smell or sound or song or texture. Recently, one such little memory was summonsed when I saw the trunk of an old tree covered in leafy growths.
I vividly remember the day that Dad first told me about them, when I was a little girl. He pointed them out to me on the oak tree in the front yard. Sapsuckers, he called the yellowish-green leafy growths parasitically growing from the bark. He plucked one off and told me that they were draining nutrients from the tree. Indignation filled my four-year-old heart. That anything would latch onto something else to sap it of its strength appalled me. Viciously I’d vindicate that and every other tree in our yard, tearing at the sapsuckers, ripping out as many as I could reach. It became my mission to save every tree within my little sphere of influence.
I wish that I would feel the same indignation at the ‘sapsuckers’ that daily attach themselves to my heart. The sordid television shows, no matter how briefly I may watch them; the advertisements that assault me at every turn; negative people; my own selfishness and sin—all of these latch onto my soul and drain me of my energy, my tenderness, my joy, my innocence, my fervor. Periodically, I have to strip the ‘trunk’ of my heart of these parasitical entities—and I wish to do it with all the fervor of a four year old, trying to save trees.

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