Friday, January 8, 2010

I made a fire it burned so hot.

Last night, I made a small bonfire. In this bonfire the wood burned long and hot, with little smoke or ash. It smelled great too, almost oaky. As a matter of fact, it was oak. The wood was clearly from a huge old tree, as the bark of each piece of kindling was barely curved. Curious though, as it is illegal here to cut down a mature oak tree. The oak tree we burned though wasn't just any oak tree, but one of the final two oak trees in UC Berkeley's memorial grove, made famous because environmental activists lived in the tree for 21 months to prevent the university from cutting it down to build a gym. No kidding.

Don't worry, I didn't cut down the tree myself. The university did, and through means probably legal and certainly ethical I came into the possession of this wood exactly when I was searching for wood to burn - so burn I did. This burning was not symbolic. I was not celebrating the victory of the university and gym builders everywhere over environmentalists and student activists, but I also wasn't all that sad about it. Let me tell you though, oak trees make amazing kindling.