My little symbolic tree is still lying in the park, a week after it keeled over in the strong winds.
I am surprised that it is still there - I would have thought that it would have been taken away by now, either by some entrepreneurial soul wishing to make a few pounds selling firewood...or by the council because there is bound to be some sort of health and safety issue that could leave them liable or open to litigation.
What has disappeared this week, from the same park, is the bench - the bench on the edge of the pathway where some of my dog walking friends used to sit and watch the world go by; where they would wait for someone to pass so they could strike up a conversation; where the young mums would sit and chat, whilst their offspring snoozed in their buggies...and where many, including me, sat occasionally, just taking in the early morning spaciousness and peace whilst the dog would hare around running off her excess energy!
The bench was a focal point, a meeting place close to where the paths converged. And because it was a convenient focal point, it had been vandalised a couple of times recently...presumably by the same people who have recently taken to writing obscenities on the paths? Who knows...
The sadness is that the bench has gone now. I'm guessing because it was easier to remove it rather than pay for it to be fixed...and of course, if its an easy target for vandalism, there is a risk it will happen again.
Maybe I live in too idealistic a world, but in my world, I would prefer to enjoy lovely things and teach others to appreciate them too. When my boys were young, I did my best to strike a balance between removing precious things so they weren't broken and teaching my boys to appreciate and respect beautiful things...as well as set boundaries around what is and isn't acceptable.
I know there is a big difference between my home and a public park which is open to everyone and it still saddens me that the many people who enjoyed the bench have had that pleasure taken away from them now.
What can we, as a responsible society, do differently, in future? Where can we find the balance between all and nothing?