Not seeing the forest for all the trees...
...or lack of.
You don't notice in spring and summer, when everything is lush and green and full. Or in autumn, when the hills are on fire with all the shades of the earth, and you curse out your camera for being so completely incapable of capturing all that vivid color. It's always during the lean months of winter that I notice how few trees there really are. All those leaves. But so few trees.
Driving into work, radio on, I fly down the highway past the hundreds of trees and shrubs that line the road. It's very easy to believe that I'm driving through some piece of wilderness every morning. Or just not think about how all that lovely scenery is merely an elaborate set dressing. So convincing at first glance, but under that thin green paint are a multitude of houses and churches, cars and parking lots. And every winter I am reminded. When all the leaves have fallen from the trees, their limbs laid bare and naked to the air. That's when the truth is revealed.
This winter I am reminded once again, perhaps more so than any other in recent memory. There was one spot on my drive where the trees were more than just two trunks thick. A sweet little acre by the interchange that was thick with trunks and limbs, and turned the proper grays and browns in winter. A place that never turned transparent, like all the other scenery where bright colors from the sky and landscape can be seen glaring through. It wasn't very big, but it was forest enough for suburbia.
They bulldozed it two weeks ago. Then it snowed. Construction has been halted, the ground is mud, and I can see the back end of the mall in the near distance.
The shock from that devastation was almost physically painful. What will be worse? The inevitable day when I walk into the BabyGap/Kids-R-Us/Einstein Bagle/or whatever shopping "plaza" they finally build there. Unless it's condos.