I cut down an oak - and I feel terrible about it.
Last week I cut an old oak tree down in our side yard, and it's been bothering me. Whereever guilt comes from, it has surfaced. I've still got the trunk to cut down, and all the limbs to cut and haul off before the visible remains of the source of this guilt (if that's the source) clears up.
It's amazing what a strong attachment we have to trees. They seem to be one of our closest, most comfortable connections with nature. The process of planting them, cutting them down (killing them) reminds me of the brief time we are here on this earth. I think each time I see a downed tree, I'm reminded of what a pitiful job we seem to be doing at protecting our planet.
Well, whatever the reason, I have acquired major guilt about this killing. Maybe there's a benefit to this tree's death? First of all, of course, I will be slabbing it and within a couple of years will have several tables to make from it. But another possibly stonger benefit is that each night, after I get home from work, I'm studying the options of one of my environmental committments - "take one - plant two". My previous efforts have been to donate to and plant trees here in North American, and more specifically right here withing 60 miles of my studio - where they were taken.
Now I'm thinking it might be more beneficial to plant maybe half of my commentment in other parts of the world - where they are needed most. Southeast Asia seems to be continuing to be clearcut and the landscape decimated, with little or no attempt to replace.
Today's thought is to modify my plan. For each tree I'm responsible for taking, to plant one tree locally (or at least in North America) and plant one in Southeast Asia or another part af the world where they are needed the most.
How many trees am I going to have to plant to make up for this one that I cut down in my own yard as well as the other's I'm responsible for taking? I don't know, but stay tuned.