A Waking Nightmare on Hilton Head Island
I love trees and always have! As a young child, I lived and played in forests for days on end. I felt protected and understood by my favorite trees, climbing up high to sit and view the situations below. When I was in High School, my father decided to have the forest behind our home thinned out for the well-being of the trees. I cried for days. I could not stand to see one life lost. As an adult, when I often saw bulldozers clearing land in Atlanta. I pulled the car over, got out and waved until the driver stopped. I yelled out “Why are you killing the trees?” They said they were told to and went back to work. Perhaps it gave them a moment of concern for the lives they destroyed.
And now, once again, I am sad. We say that beauty “takes our breath away”. Well, right now it’s as if my breath has been taken away by thousands of trees killed from Hurricane Matthew. Hilton Head Island has fared well in past storms, but today there is a heaviness and sadness on the island. We have lost something important that cannot be replaced. Huge, towering pines and 200 -300 year old Live Oaks gone! The Live Oaks, which are never without their leaves (therefore the name “Live Oak”) are without their leaves. We are praying that the leaves will come back to the limbs that remain.
The roads are all piled high (sometimes 20 to 30 feet) with debris from our beloved trees. It is as if I am driving through a funeral ground. I hold such respect for these trees — the ones we lost and the ones that remain. Miraculously, most homes were not severely damaged by the trees. It’s almost as if the trees did not want to do harm to us humans. I wish we were as considerate to them.
How can we protect our trees — how can we protect our planet? How have trees enriched your life — from childhood until the present time? Thank a tree today!