A few weeks ago, I commenced a one-man project to clear and replace the 15-year-old landscape shrubbery and trees bordering the front of my house. I’m currently in the “rough cut”, or demolition, phase where I cut, root and haul away all of the overgrown old monsters. It’s me versus the plants, and I have to admit that my old heart has gotten way too soft when it comes to respecting and protecting the lives of innocent defensive creatures. For example, it actually bothers me to kill a fly or a spider, yet it doesn’t stop me from splattering the little bastards should they crawl on my ham sandwich! Anyway… the other day as I chain-sawed some big bushes, I was pondering if the plants somehow in their own way felt pain, and it saddened me… briefly. Earlier today while kneeling on the ground and squirming within the overgrowth, I began pruning a 30-foot-tall arboretum from the bottom up, when I inhaled the dust of long-dead and disintegrating brown pine needles. I didn’t realize it until it was too late and something in my lungs felt wrong; probably mold spores. Ironically, as in M. Night Shyamalan’s film The Happening, the plants fought back. I wondered if for just a moment, that arboretum felt sad for harming me. Peace, love, dove homies.