The Cherry Blossom
A magnificent Cherry Blossom Tree was hacked down today.
Hacked and felled to the ground.
It was butchered on the week of National Tree day.
Butchered to a stump on National Tree day when young children from Easy Treesie were up in the Aras planting a tree for the President.
That is extraordinary.
The Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council came with their electric saws early in the morning.
They came at the instigation of a neighbour, who told them that the branches were getting in his way.
There was no attempt to prune.
There was no attempt to ask those other of us who live alongside and beside such beauty whether it should happen.
The branches were getting in the neighbours way.
He didn’t like the leaves.
That was enough.
And the Cherry Blossom is now a gigantic pencil stump.
The Cherry Blossom stood on our road on a grass verge for 40 years.
The neighbour did not.
It got us all through the awfulness of Covid fear in early spring when it spread its lily white and perfume pick leaves over us, like an angelic canvass.
The children picked the scented leaves, bottled then tight with water and sold us fresh perfume on the road.
There is no perfume or movement from the stump.
But a neighbour thought the branches were in the way,
and The Cherry Blossom is no more.
‘It was raising the footpath’ was the councils reply to my questioning. ‘It wasn’t’ I said, and I sent them photos of the flat pavement truth.
Who authorised it? Who said go ahead?
Where was the reason and the conviction for the savagery?
I cannot get an answer.
Only untruths. And loads of evasions.
It wasn’t me.
But it raises huge and urgent questions.
About us all.
And about adult citizen and organisational grown up behaviours that are well below any kind of standard.
Behaviours that are not qualitative.
Behaviours that have no value.
Behaviours that are meaningless.
Behaviours that are destructive.
There is a kind of godlessness about all such behaviours.
Carelessness is always godless.
We have expectations about our children and our young population. The instillation of standards. The infusion of feeling and beliefs in the good and the best for them and others.
But we lack those qualities in ourselves.
It was adults who brought this about.
Mature me, mature my way, mature entitlement and mature carelessness took over.
And others were left with beauty destroyed.
David Attenborough has a new film. It is outstanding.
But we are wasting our time looking at it if we do not look in our own mirrors.
The mirror of the planet for us all is one of urgency, impact and beauty.
Just like the Cherry Blossom.
Our own mirror must be a parallel of that.
What was instigated, was allowed to happen and happened to the graceful lung that was the Cherry Blossom
is a single poignant national and world example of how we have devastated and are continuing to devastate the natural magnificent womb in which we live.
Both the neighbour and the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council should hang their heads in shame.
Their mirrors will not reflect back the joy, the colour, the scent and the splendour of the Cherry Blossom.
Their mirrors will reflect a stumped value, a stumped imagination, and a stumped carelessness.