wailing over the emptiness

Some of you may have read about the taniwha that lives at the end of my street. The old river dragon. Its lair lies beneath a coven of lovely dark, crook-backed trees that catch the smoke of its dreams and weave them into night mist, peace shadow, magic. They are wise trees, deep-hearted trees, and every time I walk down the street towards home I look at them and feel connected with nature and my own wild spirit.

Their magic and their companionship has sustained me these past three years. I came to this house from another in a valley where a great forest had been ripped away for the sake of houses. The land there ached. The grass seemed to bleed pain. Still, our own house was nestled within hedges and blossoming trees, and so I had comfort. I was scared, when I moved here, that to live with trees only in my view, not my property, would be difficult. And it has been. But each of those trees enriching my horizon has become a friend to me. They have danced in so many storms with me.

Almost all are dead now.

The black-haired witch tree which I saw from my living room window. She would gather threads of salty, incoherent sea stories and turn them into something poetic for me. She and I, we were kindred spirits. Then one day I sat to my writing and, looking up to say good morning to her, saw only emptiness. And someone's chimney. Now the sea tales slip away untold.

The great dark star pine. I wrote on this weblog about its death. About how I lay my hands on the earth to send love when I knew it would be cut down, and how when the destruction company had its branches piled in the neighbour's yard, I ran over to take one. That branch stands in a corner of my living room. The ghost of the tree - such an old, strong tree, its shape-memory can not help but linger - makes the emptiness where it was seem so much more empty.

The west song tree. I was in shock when I saw that come down. It had ... no, I can't express what it meant to me. Some part of my heart still weeps for its loss. I lay flowers where it stood, and the tree-cutting people, sweeping up its sawdust as I sighed and looked up into its memory, kindly sympathised. The tree had been strong and healthy. People wanted it removed because they didn't like its leaves falling on their driveways. Now the sky outside my bedroom window is blank. The wind does not sing any more.

And today, today ...

Today we arrived home to find that the taniwha's dream trees were gone. All of them. The old woman trees, the graceful high dancing tree. The weavers of wild dark magic. The sky is raw with their loss. I can not imagine how the taniwha feels.

The rain falls blandly. There is only one tree left to sway and sing with me in this little storm. I am scared to look out of my window because at any moment it might be taken away too. 


  1. so painful...so many standing ones gone...taken on a whim or a wind...sometimes too much to bare...I grieve with you *

  2. Oh no - how awful that people are allowed to cut down trees like that. I feel your pain.

  3. I am so sorry. I feel such a deep loss reading this. Xxx

  4. Unbearable. I'm so sorry. Xxx

  5. Oh my Sarah no wonder your heart weeps.

  6. I'm so sorry. I have no words :( I feel your pain. It hurts so much when trees, beloved friends are cut down. It's hard to understand those who would find them a nuisance.

  7. It hurts, physically too, the bringing down of a tree and I imagine it's community grieving.

  8. oh, oh, i am so sorry. i am a tree person too...what loss, and so pointless. especially the one about leaves on a driveway?!

    nothing i say will make it better. but your sorrow is understood, and shared.

  9. thank you all so very much <3

  10. I truly feel your sorrow. Trees have come down here and I wept every time. We planted our own little forest, 25 years ago. From no root twigs they grew, and grew. I could not live without trees surrounding me.
    I hope you find a special place where there are many trees to talk to and hug. ♥

  11. Oh, this makes me so very sad. (((Hugs))) It amazes me how cavalier some people are about taking life because the life inconveniences them in some way. The trees around me lift my spirits every day. I could not live in a place without trees.

  12. Oh Sarah, this is so sad. I am so sorry. Losing the trees is utterly wretched. {{hugs}}

  13. :( i feel for you, and the tree, and the bond between you. x

    (on another note i was wondering if you have any physical books published? i'd love to hold your words in my hands!)

    1. Mazrah, thank you. Unfortunately, I have not published hard copies since the first volume of Otherwise. The books are fundraisers, and to make hard copies would take away from the funds significantly. Also, as I am in NZ, the postage would be a huge added cost. I did a poll a few years ago, and people wanted to keep ebooks at a lower price.

      Some people have printed the books off, its not the same though I know. I don't even have a hard copy of them myself, except Otherwise. Its a dream of mine ... one of these days :-)