Lest We Forget: To “Salvage” Means to Clear Cut  

Icel Dobell

It is an extraordinary planet, this earth, that with perspective astronauts have wept to behold from a distance. All the green, all the blue aliveness floating in a cosmos of black and white.

From a distance, whatever distance you conceive it to be, draw near. Perspective is the door of awakening. Denial is the lock. Within every forest lies the key.

On a continent, a coast, an island anchored in the blueness, layers of green are stripped away. Forests of the past live on as legend, memories of giants beyond number rooted as one.

Trees of the present struggle—few to become forests, most in plantations. Progeny of giants, orphans in isolation stand cradled in plastic planted in dirt returning to dust, to be cut down before they have begun.

What do we know about the depths of a forest or the life of a single tree? Facsimile forests line highways and byways. Outside is illusion: Inside, draw near to see. Perception is alchemy. We can transform the past.

Once upon a time, mycorrhizal life lines of the island joined every part and fed the whole. Mycelium like roots, fairy ring fungi like galaxies expanded through the darkness.

Rooted in oneness, one forest on one island, braced, embraced, trees stood before the wind beneath the sun. What fell lay fallen, absorbed into the whole; what withered remained, returned, regrew.

Life lies upon the earth, would nurse of leaf, limb and log breaking down to birth and rebuild anew. Giants fall, melt, mold, become sustenance for infinite life-forms, habitat, humus to grow seedlings into giants planted to fall upon the earth.

We would take everything, leave nothing, knowing nothing about the mystery beneath our feet. Starved for meaning we would starve the earth until the moment we learn to give back.

Like trees we are connected through the soles of our feet and follicles of our crowns or we are severed. Lifelines are let down from the heavens. We are tied to every vine, bow, bulb and blade of grass. We are in and of the whole.

The moment we transcend the divide within ourselves of inner and outer, the revealed and unrevealed, we return to the higher perspective we are born to—the insight of children.

Rooted in time and place on this island, in this valley, we are caretakers of paradise.

The winds roar, fires burn, bodies of water vanish: Welcome to the edge.

Change is possible. We are the stuff of creation. We are alchemists who can transform ourselves. Beneath the surface we are light beings able to penetrate the darkness. We are luminous bodies of space

Embodied here, we are meant to live not in fear but to discover—from a grain of sand to the celestial heights—everything known within.