The massacre at Frenchmen’s Pass

I’m back

I stayed quiet for a short while.

I am rested now, and full of honey-laced piss and vinegar!

Those who suspected I was away doing something cool, were right. I went to a country where people worship trees. Japan. In fact they idolize their sherry blossoms, having created a complete festival season around the short-lived blooming phenomenon.

And they never tire of taking pictures of the flowers and/or picnicking in the shade; it’s called “Hanami,” and it’s an old practice, of just hanging out sipping tea and munching on sweets, under the sakura canopy, in every park, on every river bank.

Sakura represents beauty. Not the ever-lasting kind, but the short, fleeting and fragile, intense and momentary variety.

And that’s when I learned about the massacre of Frenchmen’s Pass canopy. How is that possible that one nation worships the living breathing beauty of nature and the other has zero regard for its place in the universe?

I know exactly what happened there, because it reminded me of an old story, from my first years on the island.

The center piece of my front-yard landscaping was a giant frangipani. Old, with a gnarled trunk, it must have been at least 20 years old, a blooming fragrant wonder. But then following a period of drought and wetness it was attacked by some mite/parasite/fungus, who knows, and required a good spraying. It was clear to me that all this magnificent tree needed was some insecticide. And on my way out the door I asked the gardener who came weekly to care for the garden, to “take care of it.”

What would you do if I told you to “take care of it?”

Would you cut the tree down?

And that’s exactly what happened. I came home to a huge hole in the heart of the garden my flowing giant was gone, chopped to pieces, the gardener indeed “took care of it.”

I learned since then, after crying my heart out, that taking care of a challenge means different things to different people. You gotta be specific. So, I lost the tree but not the lesson.

The fat and lazy DOW department-head sent his people to take care of Frenchmen’s Pass overgrown greens without reviewing their plans and without stating his expectations.

He never moved off his chair, to assess and oversee the work in the field.

One of my friends wrote: I don’t get it. Most these people don’t work, sit at a desk if they are not AO, listen to the radio, get paid for doing very little, and cannot get fired. They are ambtenaren with a job for life.

Japan makes a killing off these sakura trees with millions of tourists making pilgrimages from all over the world to view and admire the pink sensations, and here we just kill the trees.  It is a question of culture, or rather, lack of culture.

Thank you Fantastic Gardena for offering to remedy the situation, over time.  I don’t believe Frechmen’s Pass would recover in my lifetime.