Can We All Finally Become Disney Princesses Yet?


Found this sparkling thing by Susan Griffin:

He says that woman speaks with nature. That she hears voices from under the earth. That wind blows in her ears and trees whisper to her. That the dead sing through her mouth and the cries of infants are clear to her. But for him this dialogue is over. He says he is not part of this world, that he was set on this world as a stranger. He sets himself apart from woman and nature.

And so it is Goldilocks who goes to the home of the three bears, Little Red Riding Hood who converses with the wolf, Dorothy who befriends a lion, Snow White who talks to the birds, Cinderella with mice as her allies, the Mermaid who is half fish, Thumbelina courted by a mole. (And when we hear in the Navaho chant of the mountain that a grown man sits and smokes with bears and follows directions given to him by squirrels, we are surprised. We had thought only little girls spoke with animals.)

We are the bird’s eggs. Bird’s eggs, flowers, butterflies, rabbits, cows, sheep; we are caterpillars; we are leaves of ivy and sprigs of wallflower. We are women. We rise from the wave. We are gazelle and doe, elephant and whale, lilies and roses and peach, we are air, we are flame, we are oyster and pearl, we are girls. We are woman and nature. And he says he cannot hear us speak.

But we hear.

I assumed everyone knew trees spoke. Apparently not.

The Asplundh people machine came this month to ‘trim’ (mutilate) a couple of the venerable oaks in the neighbourhood. Just in time for the hottest and driest time of the year.

Can we please finally call the whole thing off? The thing where the rules of the game are always stacked against the natural world? Because if we can’t do that even now as we knowingly slip into this current extinction event then there truly is no hope for humanity and we should start saying goodbye to everything we love about this world.

I won’t show the pictures. It hurts too much.


26 thoughts on “Can We All Finally Become Disney Princesses Yet?

  1. When I see a fresh tree stump, I feel as if it’s crying out and I wonder whether the stump feels the phantom tree. I have an even bigger (perhaps neurotic) problem with seeing dead animals in the road. I do mourn for them, for that extinction of life caused by human machines that have invaded habitats. From the smallest frog to the largest deer, I feel like John Donne, that a part of the world has come apart and we are all the poorer for it.


    1. Yes. I know that pain. It feels like grief because that is what it is. And every time a little part of me dies with it. I guess that is why it meant so much to me to finally get one small win this week.


  2. Ughhh! Asplundh. It’s been a number of years since these tree choppers have been through our neighborhood “trimming” trees for the electric company. I certainly understand that tree limbs and power lines don’t always mix, but I shudder sometimes at what they, and other tree services, often leave behind. I pass a horrendous example of this type of work several times a week and will one day soon take a picture of the poor tree and post it I feel your pain.


    1. Thanks for understanding. Every time I see one of those orange trucks I just feel kind of sick inside. I’ve seen far too many ancient trees butchered. Though they call themselves tree experts it is clear they care more about power lines than living things. If I were queen for a day I would make trees more important than power lines. If nature came first they would move the lines before cutting into trees older than anyone living.


  3. Oh gosh, at first I thought you meant they chopped them down. But then, giving them a major pruning (or any pruning) this time of year is so dangerous. My husband won’t hear of touching them until the threat of Oak Wilt is passed–October? November? I do hope they survive! I feel your pain. Our local mowers recently scalded a major overpass area, filled with wildflowers, including Milkweed. It happens every year about this time, and I just about feel like vomitting (sorry for the graphic description, but it’s so painful). I just heard a talk by a local extinction expert describing his “biophilia.” I know I have that painful empathy, too. So sorry. :(


    1. Thanks for validating my feelings. Sometimes I think I over-react but as I have learned from the feminist movement: feelings of grief are real and possibly the best measure that something is wrong. Every time I see this kind of thing a little part of me dies. Over here the timing for oak wilt is different so trimming is best done between July – February to avoid it. Scalded is the perfect word. There is a little field nearby that looks just like that every time the ‘landscapers’ visit it. I’d take weeds over crispy half dead grass any day. I wonder if you could ask your local authority to make that overpass a no-mow zone? Every tiny strip of habitat matters at this stage.


  4. beautiful words from the deep collective unconscious!! and I hate the cutting and trimming of old trees unless of course the branches have died. Someone cut down a tree close by me and I was in mourning for days. Beautiful image Debra and I agree!!


  5. I feel your, and your Oaks pain. As a Druid I have a close affinity with nature, trees in particular, and the brutality shown to them always leaves me in tears.


  6. I agree that many “tree guys” do work that abhorrent–really, just a totally rip-off, for the trees most especially. No one loves trees more than my arborist–and he’s very knowledgeable. He prunes year-round, but only if the tree benefits, not on the owner’s whim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a retired arborist living in our neighbourhood and his trees are SO beautiful and healthy. Mine just kind of grew wildly around various obstacles and it shows. haha. If Austin Energy hired arborists instead of the Asplundh machine I bet we’d see fewer mutilated trees and a better process for solving powerline issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Of course trees talk! It is just few stop to listen. I think someday we will find that they are sentient beings and we will grieve the loss of never really knowing them.


  8. Driving the timing is a response to the threat of oak wilt disease which led to policies dictating oak trimming should be done before February or after June 30th. I am not defending whatever was done to the oak trees, but I do understand why some of that sort of work is done this time of year. We need to get our oaks worked on this year and the timing is always tricky.

    And you are right, that is a brilliant thing…


    1. Thanks, Deb. Best wishes for your trees. I am feeling so sick that they didn’t ask for the community’s consultation because maybe someone might have given them a better solution: like move the power lines or at least do the work closer to February. These trees are ancient and beautiful beyond words. Adding on heat and water stress to major surgery seems so reckless. I will be inconsolable if they die.


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