Portraits of A Troubled Mind

Portraits of A Troubled Mind

These days my mind is troubled. To clear away the pesky thoughts, I took a long walk to Mitsuzawa Park, a forty-minute walk uphill from my apartment. A stroll through the trees and greenery, I thought, would cheer me up. How wrong I was. I spotted the obelisks under dark turbulent clouds. Reminders of 9/11 streamed through my brain. Got to get away from here.


Obelisks Under Ominous Skies

But there is no escaping the clouds.

Predatory Clouds

I ran across the grassy field to escape. The clouds bounded over the trees like poisonous gas in pursuit. Out of breath, I eased my body down on a bench next to a mother whose eyes were drawn into a smartphone and whose baby was screaming for attention.

Trees through Strained Eyes

I walked away from the mother and the screaming baby toward the trees to commune with nature. But the trees refused to communicate. They withered away until only atrophied branches and leaves remained. Perplexed, I walked to the tree branches to ask why the trees withered away.

Tree Branches Admonishing

The tree branches warned me to stay away. “Have you not done enough?” they growled at me. “You drain our water supplies. You spew poisons into the air. You clog our waterways with plastic. Get away from us! Leave earth alone!”

I was astounded. The nerve of mother nature blaming me for desecrating the environment. I stomped toward the tree trunk to register a complaint.

Wise Old Tree Trunk

“Tree Trunk, why is everyone so angry at me?”

“You’re a human being. You wouldn’t understand.”

“But I’ve done nothing to pollute the earth.”

“Oh? Tell me. How often do you wash your clothes? How often do you flush the toilet? How often do you toss leftovers from meals into the garbage? How often do you leave your a/c on throughout the night?”

“Come on! I pay my electric bills, my water bills, my taxes. I separate the plastic from the burnable garbage. I worked hard to live a comfortable life. I’ve paid all of my bills. So I deserve to enjoy a comfortable life.”

“But you have one more bill to pay!”  I walked away from the tree trunk without saying goodbye.

Dried Out Moss

The Wise Old Tree Trunk upset me. “Another bill, indeed.”  A cool breeze carried rasping voices from the faraway oak trees in Carmel Valley crying out in agony. “Water! Water! We’re thirsty. Water!”

The Fruits of Creation

I left the park and paused to rest on a bridge. Down below human beings were enjoying the fruits of creation. A million miles from the problems of wildfires, diminishing water supplies, rising sea levels, severe climatic storms. God, in Genesis 1:26, gave mankind dominion over creation.

Enjoying the Fruits

But did that give mankind permission to fell the forests, squander the water resources, build housing developments where once verdant fields flourished, choke the atmosphere with exhaust, play havoc with the insect world? No wonder mother nature gave me the cold shoulder in the park. “Enjoy the fruits, but don’t abuse them,” she was telling me, but I wasn’t listening. The old tree trunk was right. I had one more bill to pay.












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