This was written in a time pre-runnersdelight, but I thought of it yesterday while writing about roadkill, so I dug it out of the trenches…
It’s that horrible time of year again: post wintery holidays. I do not miss the joy. I am not sad I have to go back to work. I actually like work – it ties up my mind with gentle loops and curls so I can focus only on the task at hand, and not at squashing thoughts of him under my feet like red grapes for sour wine. No, the horribleness comes in the form of arbor-kill. All the dead trees are drugged, gagged, dragged out into the streets, and abandoned before they awake. Arbor-kill.
As a runner, I have the pleasure of leaping over the coniferous carcasses like a straggling reindeer as December winds to a close. The limp trunks and broken limbs are hard to ignore. For just as long as one could sing “O Holy Night,” these formerly magnificent trees were a centerpiece in the lives of many. Attention was lavished, bells and bangles adorned, and for a few nights, the tree may have twinkled without the help of lights. New feelings, for a tree. Feelings that required introspection, and adjustment, and learning to stand up straighter. And in true anthropomorphic fashion, the moment these flimsy bits of foliage learned to bask in the glow of such radiating love, they were dumped on the curb.
My heart aches for these trees as I jog past. What twenty-something girl can’t identify with feeling like she’s been buried while still half-alive for the world to see? The least we could do for their half needled bodies is save them the humiliation of a public disposal, something I often long for myself when I am living the aftermath being rejected. But like most people, instead I run on. I can see their slumped shoulders, once giants now just top heavy, pulsing with sobs that for practical reasons can’t be vocalized. I should stop running, and throw my arms around each tree, offering the last few pieces of my soul. I know that offering a distraction to another is the best way to distract myself. I know this. Instead, I run on.