Sunday, February 6, 2011

gettin' all serious.

This is the shortcut I take to get to the Village every day. It's a more direct route than the paved road that circumnavigates the island, but I think it takes just as long because it's a winding series of trails and dirt roads. It's a steep climb up a long, squat ridge to the top, which is a quiet, magical area (pictured here), that always causes me to stop and listen for a while. Usually there's a Raven or two squawking in the trees, or flapping noisily across the grey sky.

Part of the trail was a well-worn dirt road that looked like it had been walked- and biked-upon for decades. A few weeks ago, the road has been levelled and widened by the single pass of a bulldozer. I don't see any survey tape around yet, but I sense that this quiet hilltop will be developed sooner or later.

It won't be the first time I've seen a special place paved over and subdivided into house lots. Off the top of my head, I can think of half-a-dozen wild places where I used to play that are gone now. I often wrestle with the sadness of this kind of loss. I do like them woods.

An idea is starting to gel in my head - a creative way to document these places before their magic is diluted by grass lawns, right-angles, fences, and barking dogs. It won't be a defiant "stop the change" kind of thing. Just a way to honour these places by recording them, so they can be remembered after their gone. I think that might make these transformations easier for me to accept.


  1. Aargh. I feel this sadness too. The last time I hiked one of my favourite trails up near Squamish, I was stunned to see a whole bunch of orange spraypaint and yellow tape along the old crumbly logging road. Such a horrible feeling of dread and impending doom. There's nothing you can do to stop it, and it feels so unfair - and tragic that it just never stops. My house where I grew up had this beautiful long row of huge old poplar trees along the fence - on the neighbour's side. I loved those trees so much. Then one day those neighbours moved, and the first thing the new owners did was take those trees down. I still feel the bitter sadness and anger of that.

  2. Yeah it's a strange one. I'm trying to find a way to feel better about that kind of thing by taking action... there's a word for that. Not "therapy"... like, when you do something to feel better?

    Gah, it's killing me! I think the word sounds like "holistic".