Born from Seemingly Insignificant Seeds
When Forests Turn to Chaos
During golden afternoons on California's Central Coast, marmalade orange butterflies would flit through the air and fill the skies like candy to the eyes! Now, the idyllic world I grew up in no longer exists, and the monarchs, too, are declining in a precipitous dip.
First, the worn dirt road that flooded each winter became a sweltering mass of asphalt, casting mirages in drought. Then, million-dollar estates and an overwatered golf course replaced miles of Eucalyptus trees, hundreds decimated during my lifetime.
As years passed and urbanization crept in, coyote odes to moonlight, frog songs under rainfall, and the migratory dance of wings dwindled.
I stared in disbelief as I saw people park in multi-car driveways lined with fake grass and painted wood chips, using bottles of weedkiller to subdue what little remnants of nature survived beneath the concrete! At that point, my mom called me "tree hugger," and my dad suggested the changes were how the world operated.
"They can go live somewhere else," are words I've heard many times. First from my family, then from society, and finally, as a way of consoling myself over the incredible loss of wildlife.
Life continued into adulthood, and I moved to a city where daily air quality warnings alerted people to toxic fumes that choked and overpowered! Finally, it became apparent that things would only worsen should our relationship with nature remain one of dominance and control.
Akin to indigenous perspectives, I now view my rural knowledge as a way of helping others cultivate a more harmonious human-Earth relationship in light of the global ecological crisis.
I play with paint, recording my insights in the form of surrealism. My creations depict nature as sentient instead of objects of manipulation, inviting viewers to look closely through child-like eyes.
Ultimately, I forgive the people who cut down the trees because they know not what they do. While the sweet symphony of life whispers today in a ghostly echo of its former glory, I'm so glad that more people are tuning in.