[NOTE: I will return to my reflections on the Notre-Dame fire and prospects for the renewal of U.S. Catholicism in the near future.]
About 1 am last night, post-milonga, I was driving in the rain northward on a windy, wooded stretch of Lincoln Drive that cuts through Philly's Fairmount Park when the traffic in both lanes came to a quick halt. Three cars in front of me, a mid-sized tree had fallen across the road, its upper branches reaching over a three-foot-high concrete median into the oncoming lane. Soon it became clear there was no turning around, no side-street detour, for the hundreds of cars pooling up behind the downed tree. We all were stuck.
While most drivers chose to stay dry and settle into the glass-cockpit comfort zone I write about in ch. 10 of Sustainable Abundance for All, some of us decided not to wait for the authorities. I joined a dozen or so millennials in the wet street, and spontaneously we formed a tree-removal brigade leaning-in hard this way and that, breaking off every branch we could, and getting bounced back by the main trunk when our lean-in reached nature's limit. At one point someone quipped "welcome to the frontier," which garnered a good laugh. A bit risky, yes, but everyone was motivated and mindful as we went about our tree-removal task.
About fifteen minutes into the project an ABC reporter was shooting video. A burly lumber sexual among us took issue, barking at him to help out. At one point a tow trucker stopped to help, but the road was too slick to effect a chain hauling away. Then, after more attempts at leaning in and a few moments of discouragement, one more big heave-ho yielded the cracking sound we knew meant victory.
A few high-fives later (and with a few parting Ef-U fingers for the ABC dude), the brigade disbanded as quickly as it had come together. The traffic flow commenced. Some of us grimed up our driver's seat with ground-up bark and sweat, but we felt good about how we took hold together and cleared a way for all.
No cops or other city personnel had been sighted. None were needed.