Morthava’s kin are dying, and they cannot run away. Wild and treed places in California and Oregon, Washington and Colorado, fires burn from lightning strikes, in Amazonia and Indonesia, and months ago in Australia, fires burn because man has set them, either by careless stupidity or twisted intention or by environmental changes connected to human’s insatiable greed for more and more. Morthava’s kin are dying, and they cannot run away. Morthava Wellingtonia is rooted in a special place in Bath, recently she reached out in her anger and grief asking my why – why are her kin all over the planet burning? Morthava’s kin are dying, and they cannot run away. I have no answer to offer this tall, wise and deeply rooted one whose shaggy bark and needled limbs give comfort to humans and a home to many others, others we disregard, ignore, dismiss because we cannot see them, choose not to know who live in all trees, everywhere. Morthava’s kin are dying, and they cannot run away. Her pain is palpable, continues to be palpable, as I open slowly to the cries and challenges of my tree kin; as I now allow myself to feel a pain rooted literally in those who cannot flee the fires or the saws, those whose resident communities of others have nowhere else to go, for they are also rooted with their tree hosts, dependent upon the tree for food and shelter, as they have been for millennia. Morthava’s kin are dying, and they cannot run away. No longer can I flee, either, the truth that humans’ presumed and barely questioned sovereignty over creation and its domination on the use, overuse, abuse of every resource, for some are told it was, after all, put here for us. Morthava’s kin are dying, and they cannot run away. Our wilful disrespect for other’s habitats and the wild places where our own distant kin, let alone our kin among the other, found a way of life, a way of being that is now on the brink of ceasing, our greed and our reckless disregard, our selfishness, our arrogance, place all of us and all our other kin in danger. Right now, Morthava’s kin are dying, and they cannot run away, some places it is happening already. We see the flame burnished skies, choking everything that lives within the fires’ ravaging ranges and well beyond – shock. We read that rust furred orangutans trying to find food when their forests are gone are killed for trying to survive as their world disappears – shock. We are told that if we cleared the leaves, dead trees and brush off the forest floor, so it would resemble a city park with as much biodiversity, then there would be no fires – shock. Still, still we resist what deep down we know is that it will not be long before we will all know what Morthava’s kin know now, that there is not running away, we have nowhere else to go.
To avoid confusion, I should have noted (see Lorna’s comment below and my response) that Morthava is the name that particular tree gave me to address her. Usually, those names are kept between the individual tree and myself (in this case she also allowed me to tell my husband since it is a tree that is also special to him); however, this time given the magnitude and severity of the situation that direction/understanding was waived by the tree so that I could share her message.