Today was a day of minor tests. Tests of my emotions, and if I could control them, and remain calm.
First in the morning, I was exhausted and sick from an all-night fever. Second I was late for Fajr, third I missed my tafseer class, fourth they cut down the beautiful trees at the entrance of our subdivision for no valid reason other than they wanted “more light for the sign to be visible and that the grass did not grow under them”
Being sick with fever all night missing the nurturing hand of my mother, I was irritable in the morning, exhaustion slowing me down in my morning preparations.
Being late for Fajr turned up my guilt dial. Here I am trying to accomplish Tahajjud and I could not even make it for Fajr, I could see Shaitaan thumbing his nose at me from the sidelines which irritated me further.
Missing the tafseer class, took away any other chance of nurturance that I could have gotten in this day.
Pushing myself to dress and go to work, I finally drove to the entrance of my subdivision and found the relentless and merciless outcome of the electric saw. This gadget wields as much destruction to the environment as a Caterpillar bulldozer in Palestine.
It is a toy in the hands of men who have the obsessive compulsive disorder driving them to cut down any growth that does not conform to a box shape or has a twig out of place. I am sure that if these men had to cut down these trees with an axe, more trees and bushes would be spared this undeserved trauma.
Many times when I see the sculpted bushes in my surrounding yards and those in the richer subdivision around the corner and the consticted bushes which have not been allowed to grow into their natural shape it remind me of the feet of upper class Chinese women. Their growing feet as a child are placed in an iron vice distorting the bones and flesh of the feet to make them look small because small feet means aristocracy in that society.
I drive out and stop in shock. The beautiful Bradford pears planted lovingly 24 years ago when we moved into our house with a six month old Tariq and two year old Shireen cut to the bone at the trunk, the branches lying broken like an injured and dying deer.
I live in an educated neighborhood in America and yet I as the wife and half owner of the house was never asked if the twenty four year Bradford pears that bloom white in spring, turn gold and red in the fall and have never broken a twig in ice storms, rainstorms and even in lightning should be cut from the trunk.
I am still not clear as to why they were cut? The Secretary of the home owners Associations kept repeating and showing me that this is a decision that was made and signed upon by the home representatives.
Who are the home representatives and why have they condemned the healthy Bradford pears to an early death to the saw?
I am bewildered, hurt, angry, frustrated and disgusted.
While the country is in an economic slump, people with masters degrees are working in grocery stores, educated people are out of work, our home owners association is concerned with a makeover of our entrance by removing beautiful trees that provide flowers in the spring, gold and red blaze in the fall and lush green in the summer and replacing them with what? What is the budget for the makeover? No one knows.
This scenario reminds me of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. While she was choosing a new tapestry for her boudoir, because the previous one was “not up to style”, the Parisian mob was screaming in the compound of Versailles. She asked her servant, “why are they screaming” the servant replied “Your Majesty they want bread and there is none” “to which Marie Antoinette replied with her famous quote that has gone down in history:
“If they don’t have bread why don’t they eat cake?”
What can I say? While the whole world is in turmoil, people are starving, in our own town, and others are losing their homes, our home owners Association is cutting down the beauty they have to replace it with …………….? With an unknown and unplanned budget.
I an educated woman, half owner of the house, has not been informed of such a major decision that defaces the front, removes trees which are the breath of life for humans. I know that soon I will be asked to dish out the money to redesign the front, because tree stumps will deface the entrance and tell a story of their own.
All I can say is that the women of the Taliban probably have more say in what happens to their homes whether it be a mud hut or a tent than me with my home owners Association in the United States of America.