I am feeling sad. I am feeling blue. I am feeling weepy. A massacre of sorts has taken place on our land of depressing proportions. You might have thought otherwise – but it is not all happiness and light here at My Marrakesh. Far from it, I am afraid.
If you have been following this story, you will remember, that in the beginning there was the land. And on the land there were the trees. But for me, you see, it was the other way around. It was all about the trees. I thought I would order up a little land with my trees, a little coffee for my cream. But now, the coffee tastes sour. What have we done?
I knew it was necessary, I knew that some trees had to go - some of my beloved trees from my beloved Marrakesh olive grove. We had to make space to build the houses -- there was no other way. My husband strode around the land in purposeful fashion, marking this one and that one. You over there, with the bushy branches, I am sorry you have to leave. And you, with the massive trunk, I’m afraid you’re next in line. I followed him with gesturing hands, pleading: Oh please, not that one – he is so beautiful. Any way to spare this one? Her leaves are so silvery? But the soon-to-be houses were ravenous. It appears that they eat olive trees for breakfast. And sadly, so sadly, for lunch and dinner, too.
But all was not lost! Or so I was told. A promise was made that the olive trees would find new homes, in upscale locations. A new patch of grass right here in the corner and there near the wall. My husband assured me that men had been hired that moved trees for a living. Ha! I say, throwing the most scathing of glances at this man I have married. Because after they moved our trees and were paid for their efforts, those tree-moving-men (voice heavy with sarcasm) scurried off, never to be seen again. And of the 13 trees moved with their stories to tell – only three have survived and even those are not looking so well.
So now they are dead. Their leaves have all fallen, their branches dried up. Poor things, only husks of their former selves -- not the least bit of green. 10 trees less for sparrows to build nests. 10 trees less for small children to climb. No tree forts in their futures. No soon-to-be swings hanging from their boughs. Quite the opposite, in fact. For their destiny is burial by cremation in the crackling fireplaces of those gluttonous houses.
The land is in mourning. And so, too, am I.