Ancient trees have a certain majestic quality about them. Perhaps it is their longevity, or their massive size. It could be because they are able to weather nature’s fury or simply because they are beautiful to behold. If you will entertain this humble writer's opinion, however, it is because trees survive the ages, and in so doing, they have born witness to the bloodiest battles, the miracle of birth, and the terror of destruction.
Now put yourself in their place. Imagine that you are born into a world so quiet, that every breath of wind seems like an intrusion. This world seems terrifying at first. Every creature seems to have you on the menu. You are small, and the rain and wind seemed determined to tear you apart even as they bring you the nutrients and carbon dioxide that you need to survive. You persevere and the decades pass. Now you tower over the world.
The world is no longer quiet, however. Every so often, the silence is broken by a gunshot. Your brethren begin to fall, but you remain standing. Animals are born within your branches. Men die at your roots, their decaying bodies providing more nutrients to the soil that keeps you alive. The wind is no longer an intruder. It is a friend, the only friend you have left who can bear witness to all that you have seen. The animals are disappearing and all around you the other trees are falling. Engines roar in the distance, and the air seems heavier.
The other trees are gone. Now you are fenced in and children play in your branches. The children grow older and disappear only to be replaced by new children. People laugh, talk, cry, and scream. You watch as families are brought together and torn apart, a silent spectator. There is no limit to your lifespan, and as far as you know, you will be there forever, watching as the world changes around you.
Then, one day, the engines begin to sound louder and louder, and soon you see men around you with large motorized machines. There is a lot of noise, and you feel yourself wavering. Finally, you fall and begin to feel the life draining out of you. One of the men whistles as he runs his hand along your trunk.
"This was a big sucker. Look at all of those rings! What is it? A year per ring or something like that?"
"Who cares? Just get it into the wood chipper! I'm starving and I want to get some lunch!"
I've always had an affinity for trees. I even raised one from a seed. It takes a very long time, which makes you appreciate just how special they are if they've been able to grow taller than the houses in your neighborhood. It's kind of cool to think of all of the things they've survived. I mean, a single tree can be a home for countless animals and organisms. Considering that mother nature already does plenty of damage to existing trees, I think they have quite enough enemies without us tearing them down left and right. I'm not about to start a rally and go attack people who chop down live Christmas trees, but it would be nice to see some of God's greatest creations treated with more respect.