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Dee McLelland: We need to save our tree
Dee McLelland new

Our home in Fort Walton Beach lost a tree that was estimated at over 110-years old this past week.

It had suffered a disease according to the arborists we talked to which basically ate the tree from the inside out. We had known something was wrong for several months, but thought it was just something the tree was going through since we had periods of extreme heat and then constant rain.

The rot basically was eating the tree from the inside out starting at its massive trunk and working its way to the outward branches which in some cases covered a distance of almost 60 feet. The tree was over 90 feet tall and was the showcase of our backyard. There was a knot hole in the trunk and I had even mentioned when my final time came I might consider having my ashes secured there. It was an impressive tree.

The tree came down last week.

Not by a saw or work crew, no, the tree cracked and fell to earth on its own. It had had enough. The rot from the inside finally was too much and it collapsed on its own weight.

Sound familiar? It should.

That tree was and is America, the United States, our country. We are rotting from the inside.

Unlike the arborists who gave us great advice and told us what had to be done, we have no such thing for our country. We get advice from one side which says we should do one thing and another from another side says we can fix things but we have to do something totally different.

We are rotting from the inside.

Make no mistake, it isn’t a coincidence that it seems we turn around every day with another new problem, trivial or not, and we can’t seem to get everyone pointing in the right direction on the same problem. I think our country’s “arborists,” want it that way.

It took years for our massive tree to finally fall victim to the disease, it won’t take our country as long to fall from its current diseases and if we don’t get things straight soon, our country is going to fall under its own weight.

It was devastating to see our giant tree lying on the ground in the backyard this past weekend. The sudden lack of its great breadth and width seemed to leave a lack of prestige to the yard. It had stood for over 100 years and you could see it from a block away. At night it was lit with lights and was particularly impressive during the holidays.

With every day we seem to want to adopt a movement or campaign which leads us down a path of non-continuity. Our “arborists,” are giving us bad advice and we are letting them speed up the rotting process. Unlike our beautiful tree, there is something we can do about our situation, but it has to start soon or we will be past the point of no return.

Elections are coming, that’s a start. Don’t follow the same old path. Look for new ideas from new people. Throw out your blue or red badges and vote for the best interest of our country. Heck, vote “green” but let’s not continue down this current path our country is on.

For the several days our tree lay on the ground spread out in our yard and at our house there seemed to be an overabundance of birds swooping and playing amongst the branches. What struck me was the color of the birds. Blue, red, black, grey and a couple I swore were green. They all seemed to be enjoying their time together and the tree was their playground.

I’d love and wish for our country to be healthy again. I would love to have our tree back as a strong and united country. I want our country to play together in a tree standing tall and strong, not one lying on the ground rotted from the inside.

Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.

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