Birds, trees, babies, and screeds

Dear President Trump,

Last night Laura and a dear friend of ours were talking with me about my letters to you and they let me know (again) that the letters have been feeling long and didactic-y for a while now. They stopped short of calling them pedantic, which was nice of them, but that word was hovering in the air during the discussion – at least I could sense it even if they didn’t go there themselves.

I know what they mean. It’s been a long time since I wrote to you about birds or trees or odd or funny things or even bumper stickers. Just to show you I still can, I did see a hummingbird today, the first sighting in a couple of months and the other day a juvenile hawk landed on the roof of our neighbor’s porch and hung out there for several minutes. It was a lovely treat getting to see it so close up (I could lean out our side window and almost reach the house next door).

I guess I don’t really write to you about trees, but I have them on the list because they’ve been on my mind lately – so many of them around here seem to be suffering. In almost every stand, at least one tree is dead or dying, looking for all the world like they could spontaneously burst into flame and take their neighbors with them. We got some rain earlier in the week, but things are super dry and the plant-life here in the upper left portion of the country isn’t accustomed to these new weather patterns. (I saw the phrase “Upper Left / USA” on a t-shirt so I can’t take credit for it, but I like it a lot so thought I’d slip it in.)

I’ve been noticing these ex-trees for months now all around town and it’s the same deal up the I-5 corridor to Everett where we went this afternoon to meet our daughter’s biological cousin’s 2-month old baby along with a bunch of other folks from her biological family. Our daughter wasn’t there as she’s in Portland visiting my family. It was kind of odd how the timing worked out for these visits, but no one in the Everett crowd seemed to mind that they just got her moms.

I got to hold the baby for quite a long time. She’s not yet to that stage where kids freak out when a stranger holds them or even tries to interact with them so we had a nice time cooing at each other. It was fun telling her about all the people around her who love her and what a fortunate little being she is. There were four generations present stretching from the baby to her great-grandmother as well as assorted siblings, half-siblings, aunts, moms, a step-dad, and us. Laura and I agreed it would be a tricky family tree to get down on paper.

The reason I’m bringing up this baby and her big family right after telling you about the suffering trees and my recent slide into lengthy screeds is that I’m feeling so worried about the babies. And the trees. I feel so worried and dismayed about the world we are leaving our children and their children and the messed up mess that is our political landscape that I just want to throw thousands of words at you because it’s all I feel I can do. Yes, picking up a few pounds of plastic trash every week helps keep a tiny bit of that crap out of the waterways and mostly not eating meat helps reduce my carbon footprint, but there’s not much else I’m doing to address the shit show that is us and so I fear I’ve gotten somewhat pedantic and ranty.

Maybe having recognized it (again) will help me regroup. We’ll see.

Wait, I know an even better solution to this ranting problem of mine – you just need to resign! That would do it. Of course I would feel compelled to write to Pence because he’s just a robotic version of you, but with you gone, it would be ever so much clearer that we are at the tail end of this nightmare and that a new day is coming very, very soon.

May we be safe now and may we safeguard the future.
May we be willing to figure out ways for us all to thrive that doesn’t involve more stuff.
May we keep our babies, trees, and birds healthy and strong.
May you not start a war.

Tracy Simpson

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