Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tree Hugger

Everyday I drive down School Street on my way to my job at my old elementary school, past my my old block, and my old house on 3312 N. Keystone .In the spring and early summer and fall I get to experience a lovely canopy of mature urban trees until it clears onto a lifeless steppe right before Karlov Avenue. Call me a tree hugger if you want, but I've always have had a soft spot for those trees along School Street and on my block, so about a week and a half ago, I noticed an empty space where the tallest tree on Keystone once stood and I felt an emptiness in my heart. Whenever I visited my old block the space felt almost exactly as it felt how felt when I lived there almost twenty years ago. Now feeling has changed, I feel as if something was stripped from me, a reminder of my childhood. My memories can never come back to me as fresh as they once were.

If you ever read a book about trees, the best book to pick up is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The tree gives its all to the boy/man and the man never truly appreciates it until it is gone, just a stump. Urban trees hardly ever get their due. If they make it, they take forty or fifty years to mature, and the ones that make it get cut down cuz they screw up your plumbing. If anything, I appeal to those that live in Chicago... appreciate our urban forest because trees bring life and a feeling of permanence and security to the space where you live. And if you can, this coming April 25, plant a tree in our great city and give a blessing to our future residents.

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