Monday, May 12, 2008

The Sun is the Same (in a Relative Way)

Of all the trees that I know of, the best one to hug is the Ponderosa Pine, native to my hometown of Kelowna. The reason being is that the bark smells like vanilla. Of all the insects on Earth, I hate Dendroctonus ponderosa, the Mountain Pine Beetle, the most. Driving from Vancouver to Kelowna this spring I was astonished at how much the pine beetle has ravaged the forest. It eats away at the trees and the trees die, turning an unsightly orange colour. Growing up we would often make the drive between Kelowna and Vancouver and I now sort of consider all the land visible from the highway to be mine. Granted I'm willing to share it, but it really was painful to see the extent of the damage on my trees.

Pulling into Westbank I was astonished by how much construction has gone on since my last visit. It is equally astonishing how popular it is to build hideous buildings. Huge stores that blight the landscape with bigger parking lots; the residential areas are no better. Builders especially like to find attractice hill side plots of land, rip down every tree and dig up a gouge across the hill. It is then ready for huge, characterless houses where people can ensconce themselves in front of their big screen tvs comfortable in the knowledge that their SUV's and toys are safe in the attactched three car garage. They don't mind so much that the natural beauty of the city I love is being raped and destroyed.

I then went and visited my grandparents.  It was great to see them both, and to spend time at their house which is still one of my favourite places in the world.  However, things are changing.  They're both aging and it's not clear how long they'll be able to stay in their house.  Furthermore, the painful truth is that my grandma's memory has really slipped. The same question needs to be answered several times, often in the same hour.

I visited my other grandparents. Also lovely, lovely people. It was nice to see them, as always but they too show the signs of aging. Their walk is a little slower and little bit more stooped. Aging is a hard truth.

I arrived in Calgary and went to the Chateau Rockingham, my home only a few months ago. Since I left one roommate has moved out and another in and another has become engaged. Last night we had a bunch of people over, just like old times. It was a reminder of how sweet life my life was while living here. I don't know how I always luck out and have great roommates but I do. However, the thing with roommates is that they are temporary. Last night we drank a scotch in honour of old times while listening to Chopin's Nocturnes on the record player. It was a scene that we had played out many times before but it might be the very last time it will happen here. Life just keeps rolling on.

Evolutionists teach that rapid changes are detrimental to organisms. They cannot respond and evolve and eventually they die out. I currently feel like I can't evolve to all of the changes that are happening around me. Life is whipping by so quickly. My birthday looming around the corner doesn't make me feel any better. As Lisa so kindly pointed out to me, it's a two pack birthday this year; as in I'll need two packs of candles for my cake because they only come in packs of twenty four but I will be twenty five.

This week I will be time traveling though. Treeplanting was a huge part of my life for several years and after a two year hiatus I return to the woods. Hopefully there, I can briefly find some solace from the changes that are rocking my world.