I’m trying to be grateful for what I’ve had, and not complain about changes that I knew were coming. But still, it’s hard to be mature and philosophical when meadowlarks, foxes, hawks, coyotes, and wildflowers are involved. The mosquitoes are not going anywhere, I might add.
The land around my day job is being developed. Yes, we are in the middle of nearly no-where, but the family sold part of the parcel, and developers have started building enclaves in nearly-nowhere. The sale was a few years ago, but getting county approval, plans, and that sort of thing took time. Meanwhile, cattle grazed, birds throve, and we had un-blocked sunrises and sunsets.
The heavy equipment moved in last fall, but a half mile from the school. I wasn’t happy, but I could live with it. However, they have started cutting a new road through the field full of wild sunflowers. It will provide access to the new houses, and some businesses.
As I waited for the big earth-mover to get clear of the county blacktop, a meadow-lark began singing from a fence post, letting the world know who owned the land. And I lost it. I pulled over and wept for a few minutes. It had been a less-than-great day already, and here was a meadowlark singing as if the world would never change, as a bulldozer and grader flattened the land he and his mate will need in a few weeks.
Change comes. Sometimes it is good. Sometimes it is not what we want. I knew change was coming, that development was filling in the pockets of pasture as the smaller cities started to sprawl. But I want my meadowlarks, damnit. I want hawks, and possums, and ground-squirrels, and ducks and frogs and lizards and wild flowers, and clouds of redwinged blackbirds on the sunflowers. I want to look out the classroom windows and see nothing but cattle and sky and grass. I’ve had that for quite a while. I should be grateful for having had it.
Yes, development may bring more students. Yes, the playa will not be developed (not holding my breath on that one). Yes, I knew it was coming. Yes, for some people it will be a good thing.
But I’ll miss the meadowlarks. I already miss them. I can almost sympathize with the people who stand in front of dumptrucks to try and block development.
My head understands. My heart is very sore.