Today at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building, two large trees on the Wisconsin Street curb lawn were cut down by the city. If you have been to the building recently, you may have noticed the pink “X” spray painted on each of them. This is part of the city’s management of trees on curb lawns within the city limits…and it makes me sad. Unlike my Christmas tree, which was younger than my kids, the trees next to the Fellowship were older than my parents. Each one had a trunk bigger than I could get my arms around. Tonight these trunks lie in enormous heavy pieces on the grass.
I take for granted a life where I can go to the dump on a warm spring day and where the loss of familiar trees is a significant event to mourn. It is in this context that I read the news about Ukraine today—families fleeing to Poland with no possessions; children wounded and killed by bombs and missiles. I see the pictures that go with the news story, but I have not touched the human bodies suffering in this war as I have touched the trees I said goodbye to today. I know that those people love their trees too. I know that some trees will be destroyed in the devastation of this war, while others will survive, silent witness to the human lives that share the same soil and breathe the same air.
One God of all humans, all nations, all armies, all children, all refugees, all soldiers--
One God of all trees, of tree huggers and tree cutters, and of those of us who do both--
Hear my prayer.
May we always be reverent of Life. Each life is precious. Each contributes its spark, its energy to the great energy that flows through all. Let each life be celebrated in its living, and let each life be mourned in its ending—some timely, some tragic.
May peace bless the city streets of Mount Pleasant. May peace grow like the spring time in Poland and in Ukraine.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
March 17, 2022