Saturday, September 8, 2007

Redefining Progress

I love our home in Gulf Shores. It’s an old beach cottage surrounded by native sand oak and palmetto, overlooking a small creek and wetland that support an incredible amount of wildlife. The variety of birds is amazing and there are always a few surprises during spring and fall migrations. Sunrises and sunsets provide daily occasions for reflection and I can even see the Gulf of Mexico - though we seldom go to the beach. This picture was taken at the edge of the creek in our front yard, but this small view belies the reality around it.

Monstrously huge condominiums are going up everywhere and the city considers this creek little more than a drainage ditch. Parking lot lights three blocks away illuminate our yard at night and block out the stars. Sirens, car alarms and jet skis are a constant intrusion and traffic often backs up for miles. The Chamber of Commerce calls it progress, but I call it death. This incredible, natural world is suffocating - as I am in it. I can’t save it and it's becoming too painful to live here, but I’m having a hard time letting it go.

The same people destroying it use scenes like this in their ads to draw people here, but visitors will soon be hard pressed to find any natural beauty when they arrive.

2 comments:

Rose Connors said...

I needed to leave the East when cornfields that I grew up with became housing developments and they shaved off the top of the mountain for a road. Fortunately, there is still (relatively) unspoiled nature here in Oregon.

John Eaton said...

Pavin' paradise, huh Dena. I know exactly what you mean about the promo shot that doesn't show the backfill pile and the prefabs.

Y'all hang in there,

John