Commencing in the aftermath of the May 2022 derecho storm, Stump Stories aims to hold space for the ecological grief experienced by Peterborough/Nogojiwanong community members. Defined as the mourning that occurs when we lose parts of the natural world, ecological grief is just one-way climate change is increasingly impacting global mental health (Cunsolo and Ellis, 2018). By inviting personal sharing and reflection on the role of trees in our environment, we hope to destigmatize grief in general and promote collective responses to healing.
A lost tree in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. Found and photographed by KWIC's Program and Outreach Coordinator, Ev.
Maya's Stump Story:
A friend sent me the call you folks put out for stories of trees that fell in the storm over the May long weekend. Here is one.
I have a hand-me-down hammock that I sometimes take with me when I go on walks or bike rides to hang up between friendly trees. As you may or may not know, the trees of Inverlea Park are tall and old and glorious, and also very spaced apart. Throughout the whole park, there was only one spot between two White Pines that were close enough for my hammock ropes to reach. Over the past year or two I have enjoyed this spot with a book, a podcast, or just the birds.
I was out of town when the storm came through. It was only a few days later that I witnessed all the destruction. Walking through Inverlea felt like walking through a cemetery except the deceased hadn't been buried. Massive trees at least three times my age had toppled over. How?!? I still have a sinking feeling in my stomach thinking about it now.
Both of the White Pine trees I used to hang my hammock between were among the fallen. I no longer have a spot to hang my hammock in Inverlea Park. I grieve the loss of all those trees. Especially the old ones, the natives ones, the ones sheltering birds nests and helpful bugs, and the ones holding strong on the bank of the Otonabee.
We want to hear from you! Send your own Stump Stories to: email@example.com.