I woke at 3:30 a.m. with thoughts of the trees in Sweet Springs. Aroused in the middle of the night, I wondered why I care about the eucalyptus trees—these non-native trees, an invasive species.
I’m told they’ve been there 80 years or more. I’ve only been here 10 years and not yet that age. I, too, am an invasive species enjoying the beauty and climate of sand, sea, and trees.
All of us are non-native and an invasive species. I care about the trees because I have a relationship with them. I walk through them daily. They direct my eyes upward. They are tall and beautiful, with multi-colored bark and leaves. They provide resting and nesting for hawks, crows, egrets, and monarch butterflies. I have a connection to the trees. They are part of my community of living things.
It would be sad to see them cut down. Mary Oliver, the poet, speaks for me in her poem, “When I am Among the Trees.” I quote a few favorite lines:
“When I am among the trees [all trees] … I would almost say that they save me, and daily.” …
“Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, ‘Stay awhile.’ The light flows from their branches. And they call again, ‘It’s simple,’ they say, ‘and you too have come into this world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.