The forester has expanded his operation, now cutting trees along the main path. It's not the cutting that is the issue for we dog-walkers, it's the heavy equipment that is turning the path into a pitted, treacherous ditch, and it is the debris that he scatters behind as he strips the trees of branches and drags off the main trunk.
Not my woods, I tell myself. Yet they are so much a part of the fabric of my heart, the mess is distressing. Strangely enough, though he's cutting and hauling out so many huge, ancient trees, the forest is still populated with many more that will--as he promised, and I know to be true--grow taller and straighter because of the foresting.
What I hate is the demolishment of paths that have clearly been around for decades, maybe a century or more.
There is a certain grace to an old path, with its finely trod ground and exposed roots, a sense of history that many others walked these paths, eyes on the trees and stone walls and sky, perhaps snatching that moment of praise and letting it go to the One to whom it belongs.
Walking is now a horror show. It doesn't show well with the snow but the path has become partially a deep ditch (from the heavy equipment) and partially a slick track (from the trees being dragged.) On top of that peril are branches and sticks everywhere that you has to pick around, often time obscured by snow. It's hard to go off the path because the forester piles the branches there, a wall of wood and pine needles.
Marj walked Maddie here yesterday and remarked that, the problem with having to watch ones feet to pick one's way through such destruction is that one loses sight of the beauty all around. I like to think that I am wise enough to stop and take that moment before I trudge on, but my impulse is always to just rush forward and put this all behind me. I want to get into the woods beyond the forested property, where nothing has changed.
Yet this morning, when I did stop, I had to struggle to look past the mess at my feet, the mountain of tree branches at the side of the path, the trees that have been downed simply by collateral damage (a bigger tree falling on them). Looking in the long view, I saw a new woods with plenty of trees but more sky, more expanse in which to praise the Lord who made this all.
And isn't that the view I need to take when God is foresting my life, and leaving a mess in my path? Not my woods--and not my life--I need to remember.
Next up for Cat Month: Marj and her aristocratic Anastasia.