Monday, May 7, 2012

Lesson from a tree

There are no unsacred places. There are only sacred places and desecrated places.- Wendell Berry

This is one of my favorite quotes. We have a creek - well really two - that run along our property. They merge and flow on to the river, less than a quarter of a mile from our house. There is a weeping willow tree at the corner where they meet.

A couple of years ago, in the spring, we had some fierce storms. There had been a great deal of rain, and the winds pushed the willow out of her soil. Were it not for my husbands shed/workshop we would have lost her. The willow forked, and the heavier and stronger side was splintered off and lying against the shed. He took a saw, and completed the division. The most amazing thing happened.

The tree sprang back, and the root ball settled back into the waiting earth. He then took the amputated limb and planted it along the creek near another corner of our property. Roots took hold, and now we have two willows on the creek.

I believe that we learn best from life when we understand the contrast of the fragility and transitory aspects along side the ability of all living things to adjust and accommodate.

This is our miracle weeping willow. You can see where the division occurred. 
Our little creek has minnows and frogs and turtles and crawdads and snakes. We have squirrels here, all manner of birds and butterflies, and cats. We grow melons and grapes and vegetables and flowers. There is no aspect of this little ecosystem that is independent, they all nourish and devour, thrive and perish. For me, that is what life is. The difference, the fulfillment for humans is the ability to adapt, learn, exalt and contemplate in the midst of what was, is and will be without our input or neglect.

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