I’m glad somone wrote this column about the death of the Tunnel Tree — though, ironically, the writer is a developer.
“The Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park was a victim of our recent stormy weather, but its ultimate demise started nearly 150 years ago at the hands of greedy and foolish men,” Dick Hagerty writes in the Modesto Bee.
Hagerty also recounts other atrocities such as the creation of Big Stump for a dance floor.
I bristled when the Tunnel Tree collapsed. The difference between Hagerty and me is that I live on the Delta, where one is continuously witness to the workings of greedy and foolish men. I feel a sort of fatigue at the relentless and destructive efforts of our institutions and our fellows to gnaw the roots of the tree of life.
There’s a shortcoming in our species, a blindness born not merely of ignorance but of of belief, faith, ideology, that causes us to filter out some of which is basic and sane. Or, to put it another way. if a tree falls in the forest, and everybody hears it, does it still make a sound?