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Look, Ma – No Trees

Posted on: August 5, 2011

It takes iron courage to say to a certified arborist in Boulder County that you want to remove three mature trees.  Two beautiful “specimens” of aspen and an ash, trees that I call oaks on the phone when I ask about estimates.  The ignorance of an East Coaster.

The problem is that these trees are thriving next to our house with no other places to grow.

Before

Our new house (someone else’s old one) has become Snow White’s animal kingdom.  We boast two active bird nests, housing finches and sparrows.  Over the roof, a hyper reddish-brown squirrel runs laps every morning and chews on the wood on the side of a dormer, strategically located next to our bed.  And the mystery guest -scratching in the middle of the night- in what sounds like inside the walls but as we find out, isn’t in those walls.

Jack the Bat-man drills two holes in two flawless, beige surfaces to find a clean inner space un-visited by any animals.  No foot prints or turds.  No bats.  A psychic friend dreams that there were three of the nocturnal mammals in my house.

While we are relieved that it isn’t the bats, the critter continued to make its presence known.

After

My hearing is extremely good.  Too good for sleeping.  I wake up one night four times to tell my beloved about the noises.  He barely answers in his exhaustion.  Then, in the morning, the squirrel comes for his exercise.  I run out with half-glued-shut eyes to make sure it is him.

It is.

Plus, a fat blanket of mosquitoes the trees shade surround our house.  They act like hungry children waiting to be let in at the front door.  Once the door opens, they rush in.

I survey half of the house with two fly squatters in hand every night before bedtime, and become an ungracious door answer-er.  When people are at the door, I open it slightly, talk, and shut it fast.  I don’t have time to explain the opportunistic ethic of the biting insects.

It almost feels like having chemical sensitivities again -the same metaphor of feeling under siege, that everywhere I turn there is something to disturb and harm me.  (Lack of sleep in this case turns into a cold.)  A dear friend reminds me that I am not the same person when I had the MCS.  (Thank you, Amy.)

Oh yeah.  I am not a victim anymore.

When the trees come down, light floods into the house and I feel my chest loosens a bit.  The house breathes.  It would stop attracting wildlife and we humans can carve out a space in which to exist.

Thank you trees for protecting and shading all these years, and becoming fire wood.

We keep the linden next to the driveway.  It has a beautiful canopy.  It sheds piles of dry wings and buds, crunchy fluffy nuggets.  It sweats sticky mists of “tree juice” over the car it hovers.

Birds chirp and dash from the verdant branches of the linden.

Finding balance with nature.  Taking care of ourselves by taking action, and not snapping into old, unhelpful thinking patterns.  All things to be mindful about but hard to remember when the animals show up in intimate part of daily life one after another.  (One nest was built in the dryer vent right after it was cleaned.)

I wonder how Snow White hung with the animals and sang at the same time.

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2 Responses to "Look, Ma – No Trees"

Sue,

The animals represent your animal instincts. The wild life is earnest to get your attention. Opportunistic, self-preserving, active…words about wildlife. What do they mean to you? Tough, tough, question.

Enjoyed your writing very much.

Snow White’s critters lived OUTSIDE. Metaphor of instincts being stifled?

Wow, Donna. Thank you for your insight. Makes a lot of sense. I do feel that my “animal” instincts are stifled by a lot of other noises and they are trapped. The frustration is oozing out or manifesting in other ways: 1. I dislike these instincts because I don’t get to or allow myself to act that way. Need to exam how I censor myself and resist. 2. The more I erect a wall the less I get out, which is the opposite of who I am.

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