In the center of Athens, the ancient ruins of the Temple of Zeus inspire awe with the thought of the massive and grand structure that once was, with its ranks of towering, fluted columns reaching up into endless blue vault of the sky above.
A few of the columns remain standing, a few lie in tumbled ruin, but all that remains of most are the plinths, or truncated bases - like a solemn message forwarded through the millennia of past glory, unattainable anymore.
Take a drive now on the highway out past Sisters a bit. Not long ago it was a striking experience to pass down along the nave of a forest cathedral, beneath colonnaded ranks of towering, girthy, Ponderosa pines - glorious, centuries-old yellow-bellies with their craggy orange bark and, way up against the blue sky above, the soft Gothic fan vault of their long green needles.
Today it is a shockingly altered experience, disorienting one into thinking a wrong turn must have been taken somewhere and that this is not the road passing below Black Butte and by Indian Ford. Massive stumps, monstrous amputations of the Ponderosa pines, line the road on either side, the bombed-out remains of the forest temple forever lost.
What sort of lesson does this ruin impart?
LEARNING FROM MISTAKES
Because of advocacy against the irresponsible and destructive use of Bayer’s herbicide along Oregon’s roads and highways, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) recently adopted new rules to ban ACP along public right of ways; in wildlife management areas, wildlife openings and wildlife habitats; restoration areas, marshes, swamps, bogs and wetlands; or inner or outer banks of ditches or canals.