The Log |
(A Tragicomedy in Three Parts)
Part One: Origins
Nobody knows, but it can be guessed, that somewhere on the west coast of Mexico, during the seasonal floods, a tropical tree fell off an eroding bank into a swollen river and was swept to sea. We will never know the story of its life or of the creatures it fed and sheltered during its long but abruptly ended life. It still had bark on it, so it must have been alive when it fell. But it must have drifted for some time, because there were gooseneck barnacles growing on it.
Part Two: Landfall
During the third week of January, 2014, the tree washed up near La Manzanilla, a gift of the sea. Over the next 4 weeks, this log became fixed in the sand, and its gentle arch became a part of the beach life here. Almost every passing human and canine had some interaction. It was a natural bench, a bicycle rack, a stage, a handy shelf for towels, and an irresistible photo op. Whole families would line up on its sturdy span, lovers would cuddle in the sunset. If you stood on it in the moonlight, with the sea surging under you, it made you dizzy. It even provided a bit of shade for wandering dogs.
Part Three: The End
Without warning, on the afternoon of February 15, some men showed up with a truck and a chainsaw, cut the log into three pieces, and made off with the center section. The obvious instigator, a norteño building a house in town, clearly felt he was putting waste wood to a higher use, but to many on the beach he is no better than a thief, taking from all of us what was not his. He may be entirely within his legal rights, and certainly the rest of us have no entitlement, but it felt like the crassest act of selfishness to those of us who had witnessed the joy this simple gift of the sea had brought to so many. Así es la vida. Nothing is permanent. Woodsman, spare that tree. Thanks for the memories.
There must be 1,000 pictures out there featuring this log. I would love to see them collected somehow.
Be sure to visit www.lamanzanilla.info