Heartbroken on Valentine’s

Oh let me go down old Cottage Rowphoto
Of days gone by San Francisco
Twilight looms and mystery blooms
Camaraderie with the redwood trees
And a reverie for the rising Moon

A few months ago I started teaching a class on Monday and Wednesday mornings down in the Fillmore Jazz District. It’s about a 20 minute walk from my place, and I was thrilled to be able to take my route through Cottage Row, a mini-park nestled in between two busy city streets. Twice a week I could sing to the five small redwood trees that inspired the bridge lyrics of my song, City Light.

Today they cut down the trees and I am heartbroken. No more redwoods on Cottage Row. I’m not sure why. Last May they each had a sign on them that said they would be removed. I called the Parks Department but never got an answer. Maybe they were diseased or dying, I don’t know. They looked healthy to me. The signs disappeared soon after and I was lulled into thinking the trees would be safe.

photoSo here we are nine months later. I felt like crying this morning when I saw they were gone. Not much to sing about on Cottage Row right now. I am reminded of the impermanence of life and the pain that sometimes comes with change.

I guess I must admit to a love affair with trees. They have entered more than a couple of my songs, including a gentle ballad by Eve & Mare which opens with “My favorite thing to see is the wind waving through the trees.” It’s true. I can’t think of anything much finer.

So let’s sing once more to celebrate these beautiful trees. My heart is heavy today, but I will always love to think about them whenever I sing my song. And please, for me, go hug a tree!