This is a story about a bush.
See the happy children playing in the said bush?
See the sad faces of the children, who mourn for their lost sanctuary.
Their oasis of wonder and enchantment now reduced to this:
For some ungodly reason, there were neighbors in my condo community who disapproved of my daughter and friends playing in "the bush" as the kids called it.
So, those of the "children- should- be- seen- and- not- heard" ilk slyly ordered that the lush, 30 year old bush be removed.
A neighbor whose house borders the communal property (the "grassy area") complained to my daughter's friend's mother (named Kristin) that "she had very sick people living with her." As if the sound of laughter would bother someone who is ill.
Rumors circulated that some neighbors worried that they would "break the bush," or "hurt themselves." If the anti-bush neighbors were so concerned, well, they never addressed their concerns to me or to Kristin. The neighbor caring for sick people even went so far as to show pictures she had taken of Kristin's son PLAYING [gasp] BALL! He was catching a baseball with his friend in the STREET! NO! Imagine...the nerve of them!!!
My daughter was quite upset by this sudden loss, to say the least, and so was I (and still am).
She wrote this letter and taped it on everyone's front door in our complex:
Dear People of this Block,
I’m guessing many of you have noticed a big bush has been cut down. I’m also guessing some of you have noticed kids were always playing in that bush. I was one of those kids.
If you were a person who agreed that the bush should be cut down, you should have looked at it from my point of view. I went in the bush almost every day for five years. When it got torn down those five years of my life got torn out. So much happened in the bush. My friends and I found a nest. We saw the eggs hatch. Now the nest is gone and so is the bush, but we’ll always remember them.
Anjoli (your neighbor who played in the bush).
One kind neighbor named Marian came by the next morning to voice her concern. She let me know that she was horrified that the bush had been removed. She complimented Anjoli on her letter.
For about a week we stewed in our anger. I was so upset, and I started to get very depressed.
I don't remember who had the idea, but one thing led to another and the kids and I decided that we would buy a small bush and build a Memorial Garden for The Bush.
In shiny pebbles, they spelled: "RIP BUSH" under a heart shaped garden.
"If we are to teach real peace in this world...we shall have to begin with children; and if they grow up in their own innocence, we won't have to struggle; we won't have to pass fruitless, idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of world are covered in peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the world is hungering."~Mahatma Gandhi