My neighbours seem to have nothing but contempt for nature.
The grass in their back yard – which had been carefully cultivated and lovingly grown by the former tenant – was almost instantly stomped on, when the new residents dumped huge bags of coloured stones on top of it. Now their poor dog pisses and shits on my front lawn instead, because the stones hurt her paws and she does not like to go on them.
They almost immediately cut down the 100-year-old Cedar tree at the end of their garden – a twin sister of my own – because it ‘blocked their sun.’ (Why not move to Spain then, who lives in fucking Belfast for the sun..?)
Plus, that amazing tree only ‘blocked their sun’ for a few hours a day – and they are rarely even in their back garden to notice anyway…
Not satisfied simply desecrating their own patch, they then attacked the row of cherry trees which lined the back lane – growing harmlessly for decades, along a shared access path between 5 homes.
They took a chainsaw to the poor things, cutting the size of the trees in half, removing the largest and strongest branches, leaving only the trunks standing, with a few smaller branches reaching out and struggling defiantly.
After this affront, the poor trees looked ravaged and brutalized. Like those dead trees you see in Halloween decorations. Just trunks and spindly tiny arms, reaching out to cling at you…
Without the fullnesss of all these wonderful trees to screen and protect them, all the gardens are now regularly ripped apart by the ceaseless Northern wind, and rain and street noise batters us constsntly.
My neigbours clean the paving stones of this shared pathway with industrial disinfectant, which is restricted for domestic use. You actually have to be registered to use it, and by law it is supposed to be carefully stored and applied only while wearing protective clothing.
It is highly toxic, and damaging to plants, birds, animal and marine life.
But these assholes use it in spite of the domestic and wild animals that share this pathway. They dont care what they poison. They do what they want.
I could report them, but then I risk retaliation – most likely against my pet cats. Easy targets for them to allow their dog out to chase or worse.
Yet in spite of their ignorance and contempt, nature gently fights back.
The trees regrow quietly, resolutely, hoping not to be noticed and incur the continuing wrath of these angry creatures. They heal. Bit by bit. Where they can.
Life springs from the cut stump of the old cedar tree. Bugs and mushrooms. Birds perch on what’s left of the branches along the lane. Flowers bloom from the damaged arms.
Nature forgives us. Tries to placate us. Tries to adapt to us.
Today I saw that our poor trees are freely offering up big beautiful cherries. They are delicious. Is this to appease the monsters? A sacrifice in exchange for co-existence? A plea for a truce, for appreciation?
Or is it just that nature will go on. With or without us. A quiet unstoppable force. Until the planet is so damaged that it can bring forth life no more…
The wonder of it all.
I’m sure this kindness, this fresh, generous bounty, will not even be noticed. If it is, I’m sure it will be resented.
‘Those fallen cherries are making a mess on my nice concrete…It looks like bloodstains. (How appropriate) Better get the ammonia out again…’
My neighbours will not live forever.
Some day soon nature will have its revenge, and leaves will spread over their graves. Flowers and bees will cover their forgotten bones. Grass and weeds and butterflies will spring from under their headstones. Trees will cover their resting places and the roots will draw nourishment from their remains.
You ain’t all that, human. You are just part of the chain.
The wild and gentle life my neighbours spent so much of their time trying to control and annihilate will rise up around them.
So mote it be…
Human are assholes.
We have been offered such limitless gifts, such sublime beauty and wonder.
And instead of embracing this,
we crush it under our boots.