goodbye, beautiful trees

Returned to Sweden after a month away, to rather intense autumn sunshine, blowing leaves finding their way through the house -- stuck on our socks and clinging to our hair -- and that certain smell of fall. I'd thought I'd miss it, but that was stupid of me because the rain doesn't usually start for a few more weeks yet. The season for writing is coming -- I have ideas up my sleeve and a storyboard already started.

We returned to our life here in this little village, seemingly dropping out of fifth gear into second or first. From fast-food on every corner to one tiny corner store in the whole village. I have taken a "relaxed" approach to jet-lag, and it's afforded me the ability to half finish a decently extensive biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I am thoroughly enjoying and wanting to recommend to certain friends.

There was an unpleasant aspect to our return, something that I had not anticipated and shocked me, although I am not really a tree-hugger type (although since moving to Sweden I certainly recycle significantly more than I ever have and was unnerved at what gets thrown away in Canada.) Max and I went for a walk up a path we often take and as I pushed him up the hill we enjoyed the sunshine and smells and the general autumnal aura (lame-sounding but true -- I have a brain-itch right now that keeps running the word "autumnal" over and over.) As we crested the hill and turned the corner where the small  road curves north, I finally looked up into the distance and was so shocked I gasped. Someone and something had clear-cut a large chunk of the forest and left one of it's most beautiful spots -- where the road starts sloping down and there's nothing but fir and pine on the hillside and thick bright-green moss and stones on the ground and it's quiet and cool and dark). Now thanks to Berg's forestry company, it's a lumpy, scarred, nearly-bald hill, roots and stumps and fir branches left piled and wasted, and the smell of freshly cut timber overpowering. I was stunned and angry. It was the first time I have really understood the emotion behind the people who chain themselves to trees and do rather silly things in protection of the forest. I felt so sad walking up to this great, barren, desecrated scape that used to feel like a sanctuary. I wanted to write Berg's a nasty and childish note on their pile of money that smelled like fir. I didn't, of course, probably some young man with a family running the machinery. But I felt sad, and a tad betrayed, although that is ridiculous, but how could this happen while I was gone? I don't think I will want to walk up there again for awhile.

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