“It only took a dozen pulls of the saw to transect the few years of our ownership.”

As our world seems to be upside down, I can’t help but recall these words, written by Aldo Leopold and published in his 1949 classic, “A Sand County Almanac”. Here, Aldo is sitting in his home by his fire, reminiscing of the time spent cutting down the oak tree that now fuels his warmth.

“Now our saw bites the 1920’s, the [decade] when everything grew bigger and better in heedlessness and arrogance—until 1929 when the stock markets crumpled. If the oak heard them fall, its wood gives no sign.” As he moves his saw back and forth across the tree’s rings, he counts the years that the mighty oak stood strong, “…1901, which brought the most intense [drought] of record (rainfall only 17 inches); 1900, a centennial year of hope and prayer, and the usual ring of oak.”

As a collective, our community is uneasy, nervous about our immediate future. Understandably, many of us are unsure of how to navigate our lives in the upcoming weeks.

“The saw now severs 1865, the pith-year of our oak.”

While it seems that we have been enveloped by change, let us all remember that we are still surrounded by constants. As spring begins, the clouds are still bringing us rain. The land is still turning green, as the grass begins to grow while colorful new life sprouts all around us. The mighty oaks and towering sycamores continue to stand tall above us, soon to bring us shade in the warmer weather we can still look forward to. In these times of change and uncertainty, let us remember to focus on what is certain, and let us work together to ensure that our community stands strong through whatever changes this time may bring, just like Aldo’s mighty oak.

Kelly Owens
Watershed Center Assistant Coordinator