Last night I slept in a warm, soft, bed, my housemates murmuring and playing music a floor below; tonight I lay on the cold, damp, ground a Yew Tree right above me, with cinnamon red bark and a trunk that twists and curves, an old gnarled body reaching for the sky.
I hear the Yew Tree grows quite slowly, curving and bending its way toward the much taller, Douglas Firs. Swaths of pale-green lichen hang from the branches and blanket the trunks of these giants, a sign that the air is clean and moist. I look down. I am stepping on decaying logs, turning into fecund soil, right below my feet. There is a mass of life and death out here, feeding into itself, again and again: a perfect, waste-less, system.
To remove any part of this forest would be an injustice to what is truly wild: the self-containing, self-informed, ecosystems that make up the biosphere. To think that humans could come into a place, so perfectly, and delicately balanced, with trucks and machinery, destroying the undergrowth, the trees, the canopy, to think that they would do this place a favor, creating “early seral habitat.” It is not just a ridiculous idea: it is utterly dangerous and ecocidal.
We are talking about laying a pristine forest, never before logged, on the cruel alter of industry and human experimentation, and justifying it by saying that it is for the butterflies. Well, I’ve seen the butterflies here, and I’ve seen the birds and the trees and the deer, and they seem quite content with the way the forest is, as it stands. They have the sense that exists before defined ideas and suppositions that tells them how to be in this place: no heavy machinery need interject.
Tomorrow, I will wake up to the morning chorus. It starts with a few distant chirps and builds and eventually crescendos: hundreds of birds singing their love of this place and the day that has arrived. And I will get up with them and I will climb up into a tree and I wont leave, to protect the day, and days to come, here at White Castle.