I have gathered flowers from the hedgerow for three years. Four years? Has it been that long? I have stood beneath it with my best friend, both of us laughing and dreamily sighing, as a sudden hailstorm pelted down. Every day I pass the hedgerow with its companion trees and think, at least I have them. In this neighbourhood where trees are slaughtered frequently, at least I have my sweet hedge.
Today they ripped it down.
I know there are many villains in the climate change story. Right now, I'm pointing my finger at the middle class. Those people who have just enough resources to try to get themselves more. They can pay the landscaper to cut down trees for the fancy patio with a barbecue they saw on tv and had to have because there's this hole in their heart they can't explain and perhaps a barbecue will fill it. If you think I'm being unkind, let me tell you what I found when I searched pinterest for "jasmine flower art" (pinterest being mostly patronised by the middle class). I found cartoons of a Disney princess and all the related memorabilia that you can buy. I found mostly photos of roses because apparently few people know what jasmine actually is. I found jasmine room perfumes, jasmine wedding decorations, jasmine body scrub. Only finally, far down one page, did I find art of jasmine flowers - all of it vintage.
The landscaper who was digging up tree roots as I went past stared at the look of horror and grief on my face and probably couldn't comprehend me at all. But yesterday I read yet again of how little hope our species has left, as well as those we are taking down with us, because of our materialistic greed. Perhaps the kindergarten is making way for a luxurious herbal garden. Somehow, I doubt it. And it's so much the worse because this is a place for children, and yet the small amount nature that surrounded them has been destroyed over and again. They will not learn from kindergarten how to identify jasmine flowers, be gentled by their scent, make fairy crowns from them, hear their soft soul-song. How can we hope that their generation will save the world?