Our family is blessed to live on the French Broad river in East Tennessee. The land, roughly 30 acres, is primarily wooded and is a high ridge that meanders down to the water. Oak, Elm, Maple, Poplar, Dogwood, Cedar, Pine...thick and old stand in every direction. Sometimes during times of severe weather during the spring and summer you can hear some of the tired old branches crashing through the canopy. These trees have been here a long time.
The property is what remains of hundreds of acres. The rest given to family members who in turn sold it, but the land our family still clings to holds the homeplace and the most significant portion of the estate. The house is old, some portions of it are actually as old or older than the state in which is resides. The whole place is simply amazing.
But now, for reasons which are not mine to judge, the trees are coming down. All of them. So far the ugly machines have cleared roughly two acres, leaving the resemblance of a war zone in their path. My Father-in Law has seen a need to remove the forest in its entirety, and though it absolutely kills me, it is his choice to clear cut. The recent financial woes of out nation have created some hard choices in families all across our country, and it is within this current situation that our family has been faced with a very difficult choice.
Now, I am looking at a huge stand of timber. By summers end, I will have a clear view of the Smokies, a clear view of the river, but those scenic vistas are being brought and bought with a price I would rather avoid. Sad. Just sad.
We have an abundance of wildlife on the place that will be moving on to better locations. I doubt that by next fall I will be able to step out into my front yard in the misty morning to see multitudes of deer or wild turkey standing along the edge of the yard. I hate to think about what my children will miss seeing or doing because the blessing of the trees will be gone.
To be certain, the trees will indeed return. But neither I nor my children will see anything as wonderful as what we have now.
I come home from the office and can hear these growling machines on the other end of the property and it is like hearing some evil beast moving like a juggernaut. I imagine myself being a member of Ed Abby's Monkey Wench Gang and disrupting the plans as I shout HEYDUKE LIVES!!!! But in reality, this is my Father-in-Laws land, his choice, his need. So I will mourn the loss, and look to a clear view, imagining what once was.