The Wondrous Message from a Java Plum



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They only have a handful of "real trees" in Jupiter, Florida - trees with massive trunks supporting an enormous green gumdrop, providing deep shade and its own unique personality to its domain. It's why I chose that particular lot for my new home. A magnificent old tree, over two stories tall and ten feet around its trunk, grew peacefully on the edge of my yard.

I had no idea that one day soon, that java plum tree would give me the comfort and strength I would need to survive a new marriage that had become abusive. Coming home from my show, singing each night until one o'clock, I would stand by the tree, reluctant to go in the house. Feeling so alone, I found myself embracing the tree like a giant teddy bear. I felt myself becoming calmer, comforted, and after a while, strong enough to enter the house. A bond was formed between my tree and me, and sometimes I actually spoke to my wooden friend. I began reading books about tree spirits and Native American beliefs, and I came to realize that each tree, like us, has a soul.

Like nearly all neighborhoods in Florida, we had a homeowners' association. One day, some neurotic neighbor started panicking that the tree's roots would damage common property, therefore costing the association money. She demanded that the tree be destroyed, since part of the roots extended onto common property.

I launched my campaign to save my friend by gathering research. I had the tree's species identified as a "java plum." I called the Urban Foresters in three counties, and was told that the root system was not invasive, turning away from sewers, pavement and sidewalks. I also learned that the insurance companies have a formula for determining the property value of trees. My tree, being well over one hundred years old, two stories tall and ten feet around the trunk, was valued between $22,000 and $24,000. Certainly, I thought, this would change their minds.

Ignorance and fear do not listen to facts. I got City Hall involved in my fight, and had a petition signed by nearly everyone in the neighborhood to keep the tree, except the neurotic neighbor and the evil attorney who appointed herself spokesperson for the association without our consent. Six months of move and countermove ensued, and illegally disregarding the petition, this lawyer took it upon herself to hire the tree killers. She twisted and ignored the laws and ordered the murder of my tree.

I had no options left when the chainsaw arrived. A last minute call to City Hall was in vain; she had been able to obtain the permit, paid for in part by my own homeowner's dues. Infuriated by the impending death of my friend, I demanded five last minutes with my tree. As I flung my arms around her, apologizing and gasping between sobs, I realized that she was passing her life force through me for all of her family. While the chainsaw was taking her life, the tree gave life to this song. This noble tree passed her spirit and message through me, and now, through me, to you. Remember the Java Plum.

Mother Nature's Crying.mp3
Written and Performed By: Arielle ©1989

They're a big part of your world and mine in a very special way
They give so much and ask nothing in return
And God gave them to Mother Nature
He said, "Take care of these. All they need is earth, some rain and light,
And they'll become your trees.

They'll fill your air with oxygen, and shade you from the burning sun.
They'll give you food and shelter for free."

That's why Mother Nature's Crying
When she sees her trees are dying at the hands of man,
too ignorant to see
If you bite the hands that feed you, those loving hands that need you,
You pay the highest price, believe me, when you're through

So if you live on Mother Earth and take from her the best
You must return tenfold to her, or we'll be laid to rest
Without her trees we'll lose the air
How can you say you don't care?
'Cause your family tree will surely be
Among the ones to die.

That's why Mother Nature's Crying
When she see her trees are dying at the hands of man
too ignorant to see
If you rape the ones that help you live until there is no more to give
You pay the highest price, believe me, when you're through

Mother Nature cries, "Please, please, don't hurt my trees, oh please,
You can't live without trees, I'm begging you, please,
You've got to help me, oh please,
Please, please, please, please, my trees!