A couple of weeks ago the yards of two houses along my regular walking route had many big trees cut down. Vic and I hypothesized that this was a sign that those old buildings were going to disappear soon, probably to allow new construction to go up. Sure enough today as I walked to the bank there were large tractors with huge “mouths” crunching down both of the houses.
I stood by the fence for a few minutes and watched the men work. Nobody else paid much attention. I noticed the juxtaposition of the closet with many coat hangers beside the monster shovel and took a photo. When I returned 15 minutes later the coat hangers were buried and the houses were only piles of broken boards riddled with exposed nails.
I thought a lot of things as I watched the destruction:
-I wished that I could go beyond the orange plastic barricade to pick up free wood to use in future projects like building raised beds for my garden.
-how fast the coming down is as compared to the going up.
-the memories that the pieces of wood held- the sad times and happy times of probably around 60 years of families living in the homes.
-I transported the scene to Palestine where people watch their houses being destroyed in such a way, without their permission. They do not receive payment of money, in return for their signatures on the dotted line, to allow them to live somewhere else. The best they can hope for is a tent or another attempt at building a house some other year. Although, usually with the hopelessness of gaining a building permit, the likely hood is that the destruction will happen again.
The dust rose as the shovel fell again and again. The boards and plaster crunched. The house came down.