Please indulge another deviation from the usual Six on Saturday fare, but today, I’m sharing a peek into my community. We moved out here in 1985 when the area was much less civilized than it is today. Then, there were fewer houses and subdivisions. There was little commercial development. There were no streetlights to cloud our view of the starry, starry nights.
The nearest four-way stop had an old cinder block church with a cemetery on one corner and an insurance agency on another corner. (In January 2021, I blogged about visiting that little church. https://dottieloveladyrogers.com/?s=Zion )The other two corners remained wooded areas. Then in 1987, another church came to build a new building on the third corner. Churches make good neighbors.
I enjoyed seeing the blooms from a little redbud tree in that churchyard every spring. So in 2020, I took pictures of it, thinking I might use them someday for this blog or my Twitter feed. In the photos above, you can see the woods in the background across the road on corner number four.
Then about a year later, heavy equipment came to clear-cut the fourth corner and to prepare the land for development. We eventually learned that a grocery store chain would build a new store there. I have to admit to many mixed feelings about it. I like shopping for things at Publix sometimes. The proximity to our home might be a nice convenience. But it would undoubtedly increase traffic in the area and possibly increase the noise. And I worried that the many lights in the parking lot would illuminate the skies and obscure our view of the stars, even more than the streetlights have.
Building the store took about a year and a half, partly due to supply chain issues that we all have experienced recently. You can see the progress of construction behind our gnarly little redbud.
But I noticed the tree looking unhealthier over time. A closer look showed decay at the base of the tree. I understand redbuds are prone to heart rot, so perhaps this picture indicates that disease. May we never be afflicted with heart rot!
I can’t remember when I first noticed the tree. I’ve driven past that corner for thirty-seven years and looked forward to its yearly pink display in late winter. I read somewhere that the expected lifespan of redbuds is about forty years. So not too long before the grand opening of our new Publix store, I noticed that the tree was gone. It had to have been sometime this year between March and September when I took the last pictures of the tree. It was long enough for the grass to grow over the scar. It lived its time and fulfilled its purpose until someone took it out of its misery.
So Publix finally opened after many delays. Progress marches on with little attention to the redbud or the many other trees that covered that corner two years ago. And I wondered where all the little animals went that had made those woods their home. Some may have found their way to the little patch of trees behind my house.
Change happens, for good or ill, so we might as well get used to it.
“There is nothing exempt from the peril of mutation; the earth, heavens, and the whole world is thereunto subject.” -Sir Walter Raleigh
But from my back yard I look up at the dark sky, and I can still see the stars on a clear night.