Monday, March 15, 2010

Sacred Spaces

Wake up naked drinking coffee, making plans to change the world, while the world is changing us... ~Dave Matthews Band, ‘Stay or Leave’

I was on my way home from dropping my son off at school today, when I noticed tire tracks of mud coming onto the road. “What’s that?” I said aloud to myself and my daughter. I glanced down the little dirt track as we passed by and I was shocked.

Piles and piles, enormous piles, of upended earth still moist from that latest snow as far as the eye could see. It took my breath away.

We had been watching for the last week or so, as a construction company has laid claim to farm land just down the street from us. First there were small rocks put down, as we later learned, for a parking lot for the crew. This was followed closely by graders, bulldozers, and of course, porta-potties.

First they cut down and pulled up these ancient amazing trees I spent everyday gazing at, in the fog, in the rain, blanketed by snow, standing strong facing the sun, reminding me of the landscape of New England. Both of my children and I were stunned into silence that day. At least until my daughter pipes up “Those guys are mean.”

The last couple of days, I have seen them digging at the earth. Manipulating it to their desires, but today when I saw that newly created dirt road over a mile away from the makeshift parking lot and all the soil in enormous piles, I just wanted to cry.

It felt as if my heart was being broken, but in a much more important way then when a love says goodbye for the final time. No, this was deeper. It struck a cord in the far corners of my soul; a nerve somewhere in my being that knows when we have gone too far.

The kids and I have driven that same route every single day for two years. It felt as if we were in the country. We watched hawks do fly by’s, sometimes with swallows hot on their tails. Our official barometer of the season changes were the flocks of geese on that land, which would come every fall to eat bits of corn and seeds, and leave every spring as the weather warmed. We loved the swallows feasting on mosquitoes all summer long over the tiny creek. Swarms of them darting and flying this way and that, ensuring one less mosquito with West Nile was on the loose. A month ago we even spotted a fox, sitting tall amongst the mowed down corn stalks from last summer.

God I am sad.

It was a completely sacred space to me, a tiny bit of peace in the middle of suburbia. So while I usually talk about my hopes to change the world. The world has changed me today…deeply, and permanently.

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