Sunday, May 13, 2012

Grieving for trees...

I love olive trees. You don't see olive trees in the U.S., but I've had the pleasure of checking out a lot of olive trees as I've wandered around the Mediterranean. I don't like olives, much to my mother's dismay, but I can't get enough of gazing at olive trees. I first became fascinated by them (I first became aware of them) during my first trip to Jerusalem in 2009 in the Garden of Gethsemane. I don't know how anyone could not think those trees, those two- or three-thousand year old trees, are not impressive. They're gnarled and twisted and have cool holes that I'm pretty sure have a special name, but I don't know what that name is. I love the color of the leaves and the way light plays off them. I just think they're cool.

When I left Spain a few weeks ago, I was pretty sure I was done seeing olive trees, much to my dismay. But, lo and behold, here at my last stop, there are olive trees everywhere, casually growing by the side of the road, beneath my balcony, in a grove just behind the building... On my way to this town (Petrovac), there was a sign for an "old olive tree." I was on a bus, so I couldn't check out the old tree, but I was imagining the amazing trees at Gethsemane.

Today I was looking at Facebook and saw, among other disheartening news related to Palestine, that last night 19 olive trees were snapped low on their trunks, broken, killed. It makes me cry. It makes me cry for the trees that are innocent bystanders in a conflict between humans. I imagine the trees are in pain, crying out as they slowly die, wondering why they, who could live and provide for thousands of years, have been chosen to die. They weren't even cut, but snapped, left with their tops still hanging down from where they once were connected, alive, producing. Now not only are the trees dead, but so probably is a Palestinian family's livelihood...

I've always sort of been a tree-hugger, though not in the literal sense, or at least have felt some affinity to tree-huggers. Tomorrow I may go into the olive grove and hug some trees and apologize to them for the way we humans involve them in affairs that really are best dealt with human to human... Then I'll thank them for the joy they give me and I'll gaze a little more, taking them in before I have to say good-bye to them for a long time.

A few of the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem...not in peril...


  1. Love your writing Cory. Jude

  2. Go brave and eat just one, black, salty.....whatever...and know the fruit as well....yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I do hope it does not have the taste of blood....your poor trees....could they only speak.