|Photo by from|
There is this lane that leads to my office in Abuja. It is serene, with a canopy of trees from the sidewalks and road divider joining together to cover the road. It is beautiful but beyond that, it gives me so much pleasure – and dare I say, calmness – whenever I pass the road. To see those trees shading the roads and pavements and knowing that they provide succor to people, animals, birds and other living organisms just fills my lung with goodness…or just clean oxygen.
One evening on my way home, I noticed something different about the lane but couldn’t really place it. It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized what the problem was; the trees had been trimmed to the barest branches and the trunk – which was usually clothed in luscious green – was exposed. I remember stopping abruptly because of how shocking it was to me.
‘Why would they cut down the trees?!’ I yelled at no one in particular.
I had to really calm down and analyze what I was seeing. My chest felt like they were about to burst as I took in the dying branches and leaves that laid on the ground waiting to be collected and maybe possibly…burned. I know…dramatic! But I love trees, and this felt really personal to me.
In all fairness, the trees were trimmed and not necessarily cut down. But I was sad regardless. To me, it felt like they had cut down the soul of the trees and left them raw, exposed…and bleeding. And I could almost smell the blood of these trees as the branches lay on the ground waiting to be cleared away. I thought of the fauna that depended on it – and yes, me! – and I just really didn’t get it. Okay. I got it. The city council wanted to beautify the streets but beyond that, I heard they were causing some problems for taller vehicles. And I have heard that trimming them gives room for new, maybe improved, growth but damn! I really wish they were just left alone.
I know cutting down trees is inevitable; we need them for a whole lot of things. I also understand that for many, trees – plants generally – are wanted for things other than their existence. And for bustling cities like Abuja, trees are needed to beautify the city more than they are regarded as a life source. But some days, I just want trees (or shrubs or herbs) to exist just because!
Can we just not cut down trees?!
PS: I thought this was going to be longer than this, but I guess this is all I wanted to say about it.