Me and my project on Carbon Sequestration at Borneo Island

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Thursday, 25 August 2011

If you were the last tree standing in the forest, how would you feel?

If you were the only human left on this planet how would you feel? You would feel miserable, dejected, lonely hopeless and helpless – wouldn’t you? Well that is exactly how I feel too. However, I feel something else too – I feel an immense sense of responsibility not only towards the continuity of my own race but also towards the continuity of yours. You see since I was born, I was conditioned to believe that my only purpose was to be of use to others. For what is man without the trees and the animals that survive on them; for whatever happens to us also happens to them – all things are interconnected. At such a time I would feel that burden even more.

I can see from my topmost branches that there is only clatter and noise in your cities. The mountains, streams and fields have been overshadowed by tall ugly buildings. There is only a cloud of smoke through which I feel the misery of your people. But perhaps because I am not a human, I do not understand your ways. This noise insults my ears and the sights bring tears to my core. This air that we all share is precious to you and me alike but I think you have become immune to its rotting smell as someone who has lived in decay is not affected by its stench.

When nature destroyed us in storms, it also rejuvenated us in spring. If rain and wind lashed our branches it also nourished us for the future. Our flowers bloomed in the heat of the sun even as the old leaves faded away. But every time one you your fellow humans mercilessly killed a brother or friend of mine, I cried. I cried not only for my own but what you were killing of yourself. When we are all slaughtered I wondered where would be all the deer and squirrels, where would be the sound and sights of the thickets, where would be the birds and beasts and above all where would YOU be? Perhaps if I was human I would understand who will be left to mourn for you.

Since I am not human, I feel responsible as the only tree to grow more branches and leaves to provide more oxygen to the creatures of this earth, to provide shade and shelter to the animals that laze beneath me, to the birds that rest and lay eggs on me and fruit to the smaller animals that climb on me. I recall how irritated I used to feel when a squirrel’s claws dug into a part of me that had no bark or when bird droppings fell on my clean leaves, but now I feel happy that another animal has survived because I am still there. When the drought would come I would dig my roots deeper so that I could get as much water for all the animals that depended on me. When floods would come I would hold on as strongly to the soil so that it would not get washed away so that man could still till the land. Perhaps if I was human I would understand that self-preservation and greed is what the struggle for survival is all about.

I often go into a reverie and recall the deeply exciting sounds and sights as the wind ruffled through us when we were so many that I could never count. The river-like flow of our tops was rendered so impressive and sublime as we danced it the music of the wind. Today when the wind blows, I am afraid it will uproot me, as there are no other roots intertwined in mine to support. I feel no exhilaration of swaying with my companions. There are no remarkable colors of the forest as the seasons change and the only shadows I can see are my own. The illusion of immortality I had as I surveyed the erstwhile ancient patriarchs has now given way to deep- rooted fear for mankind. When I look out for my parents and grandparents and don’t see them, I wish I would wilt and die with them – but I know that wherever they are they would have wished for me to go on living so that I could be of use to the very people who killed them. Isn’t that ironical? Perhaps if I was human I would know what dreams of the future the old men weave into their grandchildren for a better tomorrow.
If you were the last tree standing in the forest, how would you feel?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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