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Tue Jun 30, 2015, 05:21 PM

A Black Cherry Statement

By all appearances, it was as dead as a door knob. A lot of cherry trees die young around here, especially if they have to compete with other soft- or hardwoods. They are jealous of sunlight, as old farmers say. This one had seemed pretty healthy until last summer. But now, all of the branches I can see look lifeless.

The tree must be about 40 feet tall, but it isn’t very big around. Likely better to have my son use a bow saw to cut it up. I’m running out of dead trees for him to chop or saw, to increase his already explosive punching-power in the ring. His favorite is black locus, because it is so hard; I like that it grows back as fast as he cuts it. It can grow from the spreading roots that connect a groove, or from the seeds found in the bean-pods.

As I slowly get closer, I see that something has knocked several of the bird-feeders to the ground. I assume it’s likely the deer that I see out here every morning, and most evenings. Even the humming bird feeders are on the ground. As I pick them up, and re-fill the feeders, Kelly goes to the pond’s edge for a drink. Seconds later, I see him shaking his head violently: he has a mid-sized water snake.

I sit on the bench, and watch Kelly gather both halves of the snake, and carry them away as if they are a wonderful treasure. I have a speech to compose for Thursday evening, to a group that has been inviting me back since I spoke there two years ago. At that time, I spoke about the cultural contributions of the Irish immigrants in the northeast, during the 1800s and 1900s. On Thursday, I’ll speak about 12,000 years of Indian history, in the same region.

As I sit and create an outline in my mind -- much needed, as I can babble on and on -- I watch one bird-feeder in particular. Among others, two woodpeckers keep landing, picking out food, and flying to the cherry tree. Over and over again. One of the two keeps placing the food into a hole on the side of the tree, that I cannot see clearly from where I am. However, as I look closely at the tree, I notice that several of the higher branches do have leaves.

Trees are one of the most interesting life-forms on earth, in my humble opinion. In more recent times, the field of “green” psychology has documented the benefits of human interaction with trees. I think this is a giggle, in part because all of our ancestors knew these things, and also because a few blockheads have attempted to insult/ belittle me by calling me a “tree-hugger.”

As I watch the woodpeckers carrying on their duties non-stop, I think about how trees have been used in mythology over time. Trees have also played, in various ways, parts of a number of ceremonies that human beings have participated in for a long, long time. I think that the image of the Acacia’s umbrella is implanted in some part of the collective human memory. It’s interesting to me that most of the nicest farmers’ fields in our region will have one tree growing alone.

Clearly, thinking about trees as I watch the woodpeckers is distracting me from what I set out to do here. But that’s okay. For whatever reason, I remember the old George Washington story, about chopping down the cherry tree as a youth. And that connects with the thought that Thursday is mighty close to the 4th of July.

While the US Constitution was greatly influenced by the political philosophy of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy), the Declaration of Independence has stronger roots in some of the then-current European influences. It was a powerful statement at the time, and it would inspire people around the globe in the centuries that followed. It is, by definition, an amazing call to revolution.

Maybe, in a very real sense, it has become similar to the cherry tree. While some of its opening lines are familiar to most citizens, I doubt that many people have actually read the document recently. The document is something held behind glass in a museum, and its meaning is dead -- or almost dead -- in our culture. Yet, every so often, we see a branch sprout -- a recent example being the beautiful Occupy movement.

The obscene commercialization of the 4th of July is so toxic, that it requires no in-depth discussion here. But the very idea of the 1% capitalizing on it, at a time when our society is becoming a feudal estate for them, should repulse everyone. Which is not to say that I am in any way opposed to picnics and celebrations ….rather, I think these should include time to reflect on what the “holiday” is about.

That the men who declared the United States a free nation were imperfect should not sidetrack us. Rather, the intent of the expressed concepts should be applied to our current state of affairs. This includes focusing on our resources -- including those presented by later revolutionaries, with Martin Luther King, Jr., being the most significant. I say that not only because of my beliefs about the moral superiority of non-violence, but even more so, only a non-violent revolutionary movement has any chance of success.

Today’s “royalty” has little, if any, hesitancy as far as using violence to protect their interests. The idea that any external or internal enemy will overthrow them is unrealistic. But nonviolence, while admittedly often slow in getting positive results, is the way to go. And that’s what I’ll be thinking about over the holiday weekend.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Black Cherry Statement (Original post)
H2O Man Jun 2015 OP
raouldukelives Jun 2015 #1
H2O Man Jun 2015 #3
raouldukelives Jul 2015 #10
Uncle Joe Jun 2015 #2
H2O Man Jun 2015 #4
Uncle Joe Jun 2015 #5
Uncle Joe Jun 2015 #6
H2O Man Jul 2015 #8
G_j Jul 2015 #7
H2O Man Jul 2015 #9

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 07:26 PM

1. K&R Some of my oldest and best buddies are tree's.

One could never ask for a stronger shoulder to cry on or a more wise listener and they are always there when I need them.

In that vein, I wanted to thank you for your brave stance against fracking and for mother earth.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:11 PM

3. Thanks!

I appreciate that. And it is my duty to oppose hydrofracking and other threats to the Natural World. I wish such threats didn't exist, but so long as they do, I have that responsibility.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:49 PM

10. Just call us mother natures Tom Joads. nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 07:39 PM

2. And Buddha meditated under the Bodi Tree for 49 days until he attained Enlightenment




Thanks for the thread, H2O Man.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:11 PM

4. Great example!

Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:18 PM

5. My pleasure, H2O Man

Peace to you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 11:37 PM

6. Here's a nice song to go with your OP "The Memory of Trees."




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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 03:12 AM

8. Very good!

I always have enjoyed her music. Her sister's group is outstanding, too!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:47 AM

7. aho

Completely agree, And I too believe that this truth does not change. MLK Jr. also believed this to be true. The truth of non violence remains the same through time and circumstances. Our understanding and refinement evolves with time, but it is a solid principal. I wish more people would really grasp onto what MLK had to say to us about THIS time we live in. He was a leader for more than his own time. Thanks again..

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Response to G_j (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 10:19 AM

9. Right.

Great principles are constant. While the set of circumstances that we are confronted with today are different than those of the 1960's (and, at the same time, very similar), it is because today is a consequence of yesterday. Just as tomorrow will be a consequence of today.

The progress made by King et al was the result of acting upon those great principles; the areas where progress has not been made is found in where people failed to act upon those same principles.

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