During one of my mom’s many hospital stays when I was a kid, a woman’s magazine published a story called “The Lorax”. Reading hadn’t been a big part of my life, but my mother called from the hospital pay-phone (or more likely, phoned and let it ring once and then I phoned the payphone back, to save the dime) to read me instalments of that story.
I remember feeling a little too old for this —
and that I did it more for her than for me.
She’d been in and out of hospital a lot by this time.
Earlier today, I visited a barricaded wasteland which, this time last week, was a shady neighbourhood grove of glorious, mature trees. The sudden, deliberate, irreparable destruction was overwhelming. The evidence of local despair, heart-wrenching.
I thought of where I was, mind-wise, this time last week — so immensely grateful to be healthy, happy and alive. And of the sudden, unexpected, self-inflicted implosion I’ve experienced since then. The overwhelming, seemingly irreparable damage of seven days of self-hatred and wallowing.
Fastened to the fence as I left the ravaged urban forest, hung the laminated pages of “The Lorax”.
I instantly recalled the scent of that heavy, spiral-corded receiver.
I reflected on the many harshly named “looney bins” and the self-hatred and despair that had landed my mother in them. Some version of which has me on my knees right now.
Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” was published in 1971.
Meaning…. that care-worn me was six.
Maybe it’s time I gave myself a break.
Catch!” calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
“It’s a Truffula Seed.
It’s the last one of all!
You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.”