OPINION SHAPER: Missing the part about co-existence

2012-08-29T00:01:00Z OPINION SHAPER: Missing the part about co-existenceBy Cindy Letchworth stltoday.com
August 29, 2012 12:01 am  • 

The hedgerow died. This was before the drought and when everything was green. I didn't understand it. The plants in my backyard usually did well. But one area, where the rose of sharon usually bloom was yellow and drooping. Then one day, I saw a woman with a spray bottle. She sprayed it over my fence. It was weed killer. This woman thought the plants were wild and dangerous. Problem was, the plants weren't hers. Nor were they dangerous.

There's a vacant lot across from my work place that grew bunches of wild flowers. Queen Anne's lace, tiny daisies, morning glories and yarrows filled this small valley that once was home to the old quarry off Green Park Road. Tall pines line the ridge at this spot, and it's a nice place to take a look at nature close-up. It provides beauty, and a great place to unwind during daily breaks.

I'd been watching the flowers grow and develop in this area. Then bulldozers came. They sat in this valley spot for a week before their heavy jaws tore into the chat and vegetation. Without a care in the world they ripped into the flowers and plants. Slowly, the spot was leveled, and a number of the pines were tagged. I wasn't sure at the time if that meant they would be spared or not. I know now. It meant they were to be cut down.

A friend told me how one of her neighbors didn't like that an opossum passed through her lawn on a regular basis. This friend lives on lots at least one-half acre in size and are rimmed with trees. It's a beautiful suburban area where wildlife has half a chance. My friend's neighbor set up a trap. A humane trap, but still a trap. They caught the opossum and thought it best to relocate it, just because they didn't like it. They released it miles from its home.

It seems man has trouble with wild things. People build homes in rural settings. They erect mansions in wooded lots and then complain that deer come through, or raccoons climb on their roofs. It's like anyone who gardens or plants flowers. It's a risk. If you have anything outside there is a chance it won't make it, or that other factors will come into play. During the recent drought when the squirrels nibbled on my tomato plants, or ate the sunflower seeds meant for the cardinals, they weren't out to get me, they were just seeking survival.

Killing, or relocating nature is selfish. What we deem as a nuisance can actually be the elements that help us balance our world. When man eliminates predators from our ecosystems, they remove the check-and-balance system that the world was built upon. Trying to live with nature and accommodating our needs with theirs is something sorely lacking in today's world.

The flowers in the rocky hollow are gone now. I'm sure the property owners have no idea how much I enjoyed watching the plants grow and develop. They don't know that this tiny area gave me the joy I need to balance my day. They missed the part about co-existence.


Cindy Letchworth of Affton is a customer service manager and freelance writer who enjoys pets, nature and current events. More of her stories can be found on Hubpages.com. If you would like to contact Cindy Letchworth, you can send an email to jcowan@yourjournal.com or mail a letter to Suburban Journals, care of Jack Cowan, 14522 South Outer Forty Road, Town & Country, Mo., 63017. Mail and email will be forwarded

Copyright 2015 stltoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.