Hope for Hemlocks
I'm from Transylvania County NC. It's one of the greenest* places in the country. But, over the last few years we've lost some of our finest greenery, the Hemlocks. The woolly adelgid has been eating them something fierce. One of my last acts, and it was only a detour in taking care of business, was to drive up Davidson River over to Balsam Grove. It's lined with the snags of once proud Hemlocks. It's no longer a new sight to me to see naked, dead Hemlock standing on a mountainside. That was to me when I returned from Iraq. The dark green had turned a dull gray. It's a sad sight. But, as always when I stare out at the lifeless limbs, and catch sprigs of green. Needles hanging on to limbs on all but the biggest. I really don't know what my grandchildren will see. Like my Grandfathers that knew the Chestnut, all but lost to my generation. Then there is one, a sapling, but ancient no longer shaded by it's parent tree, raising up to reach the sun.
The sun, Before long I will see it in it's worst context, in a desert. Lifeless desert. Oh, I know life is there, but, that is the best words to describe it. Deployment is so aggravating. This is so different than when I deployed before. That predeployment was more organized, still full of changes, but far more organized than what is happening with this one. It's a different kind of deployment though. Before when I was going to Iraq, my year was nothing but uncetain, where I would be, who I would be with and what I would do. Otherwise, the day to day was lined out. Not that it is not lined out here, but, it's a whole different set of circumstances. I have bitter thoughts comparing it to before, then I have to remind myself, the Army changed the deployment rules, how they want to deploy Reservist from my time in 06. It's a broken up process and that creates issues of it's own. Things get lost...Time is lost.
But unlike in 2006, I don't think the Hemlocks are doomed. I know where they are all green, not a snag among them. At least, the last time I was at one of those places. So, I grit my teeth in these temporary circumstances and know, just like for the Hemlocks, there is hope.
Today marks 25 years of the Army. It's been all of my adult life.
*I'm not talking the Environmental Fad