Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Day the Squirrels Cried... and so did I

Last Friday was a terrible-horrible day on North Walnut Street. Our neighbors, a Christian seminary, did an awful thing. They hacked down the last walnut trees on North Walnut Street.

And, they also dismembered a wild cherry, a couple of maples and a few others.

It was like in Lord of the Rings when you see the Orcs clear cutting all the trees.

We shouldn't have been surprised. They did this across the street from us in 2004, slashing red buds, dogwood and cherry trees with no respect for God's creation.  
 Why you ask?  

 To make ugly gravel parking lots. It makes no sense at all. They told us in 2004 that they were going to plant "better" trees and landscape the area making this a "bright spot" in the community. It is still gravel, mud and dust, 6 1/2 years later.

 This old walnut tree succumbed to the chain saw. Generations of squirrels lived and ate in this tree. It shaded Bob's office for years and will never be able to be replaced in my lifetime. 

The wood was not even saved to make anything useful, just sawed into small bits and tossed in the back of a dump truck.

A few maples were lost in the rampage. The stripped one [near the top of the page] was cut down to the ground a few days after I took these photos.

This seminary actually received a "green award" this past year for its environmental conscience. I guess they must have restricted flow toilets and some compact fluorescent bulbs in their buildings or something. 

It just goes to show you how meaningless those green awards are, doesn't it?

I have to wonder about the social conscience and the value of stewardship that this institution espouses. They are big on the word "community" but it seems like it pertains to a closed community within the hallowed walls of the seminary.

Once you get out to the parking lot area, who cares? Who cares about the community outside the walls?

I find it ironic that they send folks all over the world to be missionaries, and yet don't know how to be good neighbors. I remember the words of Mother Teresa who said that missionary work begins with your neighbors.  I have to agree.  As you can see, we have terrible neighbors.

 We have lived next door to them for over 18 years and I still really don't know them. It is  hard to be neighbors with an institution. How can you wave hello, or share brownies or conversations over the fence?

You can't.

All you can do is wonder what they are thinking and what they are doing.When I asked two workers what was going on I got these responses,

"I don't know. They don't tell me anything," and "I'm just earning a paycheck."
This past week all the rubble was raked up and hauled away. Now we are left with nothing but stumps.

And at the end of the day, there is one lone squirrel crying in the tree and one middle aged grandma crying beneath it.




  1. Mom,
    When you sent me an email about this I cried, and now looking at these photos, I'm crying again. I know I shouldn't be surprised by the crudeness of the Seminary's actions considering I've witnessed their past destruction and insensitivity, but this is almost more than I can bear.

    When I get homesick, I just think about how it will feel to come home again, and the familiarity of that picture keeps me strong. Now I know the home I left is different from the home I will return to, and I feel a knot forming in my stomach. Having no choice but to fly away, the Lorax is probably off crying somewhere.

  2. I thought of the Lorax a lot in the past couple of weeks. It doesn't look as bad since they hauled all the debris away. They took out all the railroad ties, so I have no idea what the next step is. I just don't look out my bedroom window much any more. I have been out at the farm a lot lately. It provides rest for the soul. So quiet and peaceful.