The hills are green this time of year, beautiful shades of green. Pale pink blossoms are exploding on the branches of the almond trees that dot the mountains. The grass is lush and full. There is mud from the wonderful rain that fell. The red poppies have just bloomed. You can see them from our porch. They are hard to spot, but once you zone in on them they seem to be everywhere. The birds fly low over the valley and then soar up as they reach the incline. The paths that run through the mountains seem to go on forever. The colors are breathtaking. I see green, brown, tan, pink, red…and three yellow tractors.
They came this morning. First the cars showed up, then the tractors and then the workers. They came with papers that looked like plans. The men crouched on the ground and spread the land’s doom over the green. Then they walked over the red poppies, pointing at different spots. Then they started up the tractors. Then they dug up the poppies…and the grass…and all I can see now is the underside of the earth that has spent the past month drinking water and preparing it’s roots for growth.
And I feel violated.
My sister looks out and remembers coming home from school one day to find my mother at the window, camera in hand, wailing in disappointment as the tractors tore down the trees and ripped apart the little yellow house that stood for individuality. Now, my little girl cries that no one can live on our mountains. I sip my coffee and think of the hikes we planned and how we wanted to pitch a tent in the field and have a picnic.
The yellow tractors dig and dig and I turn my back on them, enter the home I have only recently settled into, and dream of a little yellow house surrounded by almond trees and poppy blossoms on a mountain top overlooking a bright blue sea.
A dream…a wishful thought…or maybe…a tiny spark of hope.