I have always been kind of morbidly fascinated by tales of plague and pestilence.
Probably because I've never experienced anything like that until this point in my life.
A little kid going to Catholic school I was fascinated by the exotic plagues that the bible offered.
Locusts sound pretty cool.
I've heard that the largest living thing ever by biomass was a swarm of locusts that devoured crops as it flew across the continental US.
Could you just imagine seeing something like that?
As a kid I used to wonder what it would have been like to live through the Black Plague that killed what... one out of four people in Europe?
I think I thought about some pretty weird shit as a kid.
Maybe it was so that I could get my mind off of the Cold War and the Mutual Assured Destruction it assured us.
Plagues seemed not only like a 'walk through the park' compared to nuclear annihilation... they were sort of a spectacular distraction.
Still... I'd never seen a plague.
I'll tell you it isn't the most exciting plague to see... and that's pretty cool with me now that I'm an adult... but it's a plague nonetheless.
All of the Ash trees are dying.
And I love trees.
And it's breaking my heart.
I became a fan of Ash trees too late in life... both mine and theirs...
because they're all dying now.
And soon they will all be gone.
A few months ago I couldn't have pointed one out to you.
I was really a diehard fan of the Oak tree and I've never waivered from that.
It was a couple of months ago that I recall first hearing the chainsaws and seeing the cutting crews from the village taking down the beautiful behemoths from my street and all the streets around here.
Trees I climbed as a kid... whose shade I sat underneath on so many of the gorgeous and infinite summer days of my youth.
A tree I might have had my first kiss with a girl under.
WIth my monotheistic approach to tree appreciation I hadn't noticed just how many ash trees that there were in the neighborhood.
Until they started turning into stumps... leaving wide open views of the sky where none had been for years...
an 'openness' that I found mildly disturbing as it seemed to change the way that the neighborhood felt every time I'd drive down the street.
Ash trees were never particularly beautiful to me.
I never gave them the appreciation that they deserved...
like so many things in life...
until they were almost gone.