Oh Open Space, how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
You are open,
Your ceilings are high,
And your floor boards so long,
You are pure,
And you are light.
I am free, I can move, I can think!
No one controls me or tells me where to walk.
But, no more! No more!
The Developers have come.
Yes, the Developers. The Bomford Brothers.
develop verb to grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate
-to convert (land) to a new purpose by constructing buildings or making other uses of its resources
develop verb to change beyond all recognition the space that existed previously
-to destroy natural habitat and preexisting structures, usually for the financial benefit of the few
When we were kids, there was a big forest near where we lived. It was full of trees and other little animals and birds. I don’t know what kind of trees or birds. We didn’t talk about trees and birds at my house. We talked about politics and football. In loud voices. We liked development. It meant money. The forest got ripped down. There were backhoes and a lot of big yellow machines and then there was nothing but mud and a few broken crushed branches. They still had leaves attached to them. We couldn’t play there anymore. It was off limits. It became dangerous. Not like the forest when the trees and birds lived there. Now there were 2 x 4’s and the skeletons of houses being built from the inside out. There were big signs that said keep out! We wouldn’t keep out. We had been there much longer than any of them. They weren’t even from our town. When the men went away we would go and walk through the mud and the skeletons and it was fun at first. But only because we were renegades, because it was forbidden. It really wasn’t any where near as fun as the forest. It made us feel like starting fires. It didn’t matter anymore if we started fires. The forest wasn’t there. We didn’t have to be careful of the trees. The forest was muddy too sometimes, but there were little glassy ponds and mossy logs and in the spring there were hundreds of bleeding hearts, only we called them bloody marys. We didn’t talk about bleeding hearts at home either. The forest was our home more than any skeleton could ever be. We stopped going to the space that used to be our forest. We went to another forest down the road and behind our school. The birds and the trees were there too but it was so much more crowded.
disclaimer: this essay/review/piece is not intended to disparage, comment upon or otherwise implicate any developer, known or unknown, living or dead, real or fictional, including, but not limited to Bomford Bros.