Season’s Lament

Nature always presents us with unexpected beauty.

Nature always presents us with unexpected beauty. Ice crystals formed overnight in an indoor window on a cold (-5 F) winter night in Lake Forest, IL. USA.

Live decorated Christmas tree at Palmer Square in Princeton, NJ, USA.

Live decorated Christmas tree at Palmer Square in Princeton, NJ, USA.

The end of the holiday season is always a time for reflection and even more so when combined with the end of the year and the prospects for the new one. Ever since I became a resident of Lake Forest in the suburbs of Chicago many years ago, I have been saddened by the view of what used to be beautifully decorated Christmas trees, now laying down near the garbage containers soon after the Christmas holidays. How can we be so insensitive and throw away, without any regard, what just a few days ago we cherished as a symbol of eternal Spring? Through the years, I managed to crystallize this sadness into a brief poem that I present now for the readers. I do know, it is not the greatest poem. But in my mind summarizes the plead of millions of evergreen trees, in all its varieties, that have been planted and grown only to satisfy the caprice of modern humans. These living trees are grown, nurtured and killed with the sole purpose of being ‘reborn’ and decorated in the living room or foyers of countless homes all over the world. After a few days of shining glory they are put down again and thrown into the trash in cities all over the world.

Season’s Lament

Before yesterday,
You and your brothers were gathering sunlight, minerals,
Seeping water with your twisted, ligneous veins
Buried on the fertile soil
To generate the eternal green of spring
In the fields, at home.

You were a pointed constellation of electric stars,
Deep colors, magic shapes, longing dreams, illusions.
Raising through your emerald foliage,
Bringing the aroma of the forest
To an enclosed sky,
Surrounded by children, adults, humans,
Wishing to keep their hearts always fresh,
Always young.

You lay down on the sidewalks
Abandoned a trillion times
Shrouded in a sterile sheet,
Green conical cadaver
Twicely cut
Twicely dead
In the suburban morgue

Cele Abad-Zapatero
December 30, 2013

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2 Responses to Season’s Lament

  1. Dotty says:

    Dearest Cele,
    Your words are truly profound. How we forget thesea are LIVING things, part of our universe that provide us with life and sustenance. Thank you for reminding us of their nurturing ways and our oblivion. Abrazos. Dotty

  2. Cele says:

    Thank you Dotty, so much.
    Dear Dotty,
    I am back from the weeks in Europe, working with colleagues and discovering and studying the symmetry of ‘rose windows’ in cathedrals. More details to follow in an upcoming article in Acta Crystallographica D, entitled: ‘The Beauty of the Rose Windows and the Different Meanings of Symmetry’. I’ll send a copy when it gets published, in March. It will also be on the cover of this crystallographic (scientific) journal.
    Warm regards.

    Tenemos uno nietos preciosos, verdad?. Un carinoso saludo.

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