If I am the light it can’t all be bad can it?

Claire
2 min readSep 28, 2023

Another devastating news story rocks my heart.

Sycamore Gap [my photo]

I’m a pretty understanding person.

I can empathise with most things. I can see others’ pain. I can feel compassion for perpetrators of some of the worst things whilst still condemning their actions.

Yesterday I wrote of my despair at the treatment of young people with autism and other intellectual disabilities; even while I’m disgusted and feel such pain for the victims, I can comprehend how those staff members know no better — people really are that ignorant and swallow whole the things they are taught by superiors.

But today I read of someone cutting down an iconic tree.

To me it’s not just a tree. It’s not just vandalism. It’s a statement of the highest, most selfish order and I cannot even begin to empathise with such a deliberate act of devastation.

Even more than soldiers in a war following orders, pre-programmed to dehumanise the ‘enemy’, to protect their own.

This tree is magnificent just as it is standing there visible for long distances, the only one. For me it symbolises striving against all odds and standing proud. But it was also featured in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and when I visited it it felt like some kind of pilgrimage, it truly was a moment as I crested the wall that obscured my view as I approached the ‘gap’. I know I won’t be the only person that imparts importance to it because of the sentimental presence it inhabits in our past.

And now some fucker has not only cut down an old tree that thousands if not millions of people knew, they have permanently altered the landscape.

For what?

This experience actually, it occurs to me as I’m writing, will be uniting a lot of people in shared grief for ‘just a tree’, hopefully bringing some awareness of the variety of emotions we experience and the importance we impart to things, even ‘trivial’ things. I say ‘trivial’ because people are saying it’s “just a tree”, but to me it’s not trivial, it’s a living being that also has importance within the cultural context.

Anyway, I read the news, it made me feel sick and then I cried.

The news has been hard-hitting this week.

If it also made you feel sick and you cried, we’re probably normal. I’m thinking of you and sending love.

If I can be upset and send love, then there’ll be others too. This comforts me as I am confronted with the opposite of love and light.

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Claire

Adventurer, word-lover, nature-enthusiast, psychotherapist, creative.