It’s amazing how much something means to you until it’s threatened, isn’t it?
A recent wind-storm has badly damaged a much old, tall and beloved tree in our backyard. It’s something that I could always count on being there and have fought, hammer, tooth and nail with a bordering neighbour to keep. His reasoning for cutting it down are all based upon the shade that it casts upon his pool for certain portions of the day but, I’ve fought with him with the argument that the tree was there before he put in the pool and he knew it.
Decades ago, we had a huge limb removed from it because it was threatening to come down with a huge crack in it. That opened up the skyline to such a degree that I hated the openness but, we were forced to have it taken down at some cost to us to do so. Neighbour below (on a diagonal) wasn’t happy as he wanted the entire tree down, not simply a huge limb. I still fought him on that as not only does that tree mean so much to me but, the cost was so great that we couldn’t have afforded to do so even had we wanted to do it.
Fast forward to the present moment where the storm that rolled through has cracked and damaged yet another huge limb that will need to be removed. Over half of the tree will now be gone and we are attempting to get help. There is none to be had in spite of our calls to service providers whose lines will be taken down should that limb fall as well as house insurance which we pay every year for nearly 40 years. They can’t even tell us what our liabilities would be should it come down and take down 3 bordering fences as well as utility wiring, the neighbour’s pool and next door’s garage roof. The city we live in can’t help us and of course, tree services are not willing to come out to even look at it or offer us up much other than a “we’ll get there when we get there to give you a quote then we wish you good luck because we won’t be getting to it for weeks to months.”
More than anything, that tree holds all of my memories, thoughts, hopes and even grief. Our entire family has died and our only child has estranged herself from us. Forty years of having protected that tree as silly as it may sound to some people who take down trees regularly, has me left in tears. It represents another loss. It’s no small tree either. It’s approximately 100′ tall and was here when we purchased this house over 40 years ago now. It’s seen me and all of my bad times as well as my joyous times. It saw a new baby being brought into this house.
One thing this has done though, is to make me realize a few harsh realities about Life and people.
- People seem to only care about “self” and think about what they want versus your needs and wants. They will demand that they get what they want.
- The area that we currently live in, has seen better days as has the house we live in. Both are empty feeling and the changes that are coming to the area are not ones that are good for us any longer.
- People, pets and things will leave your life when it’s their time to do so whether by choice or due to circumstances.
- Losses are going to keep happening so learn to fill your life with possibilities so that you can fill voids in some way or another, either largely or in small ways, partially or wholly but, don’t sit and let Life happen to you. Make it happen for you.
- Don’t allow your life to become so empty that it only takes a tree to make or break it. When one friend leaves your life, put something else in its place before you feel that horrid emptiness that can ensue.
- Things will change. Be willing make changes as necessary even if that includes changes within yourself and your own life.
- Counting on getting help when you need it most is a fool’s game to play because most people are not willing to help you when you need it. Don’t give all of your help to others with the expectation that it will be given back when you need it most. That goes for even those services that you pay for regularly. Their hands will be out for you to put money into it but, when you need help with those services, you’ll quickly find that those you’ve done the most for or paid each month or year for, are not there for you when you need the help.
- If something doesn’t suit you any longer, be willing to leave it and move forward. If you stay stuck, you’ll remain stuck. Make a change somewhere, somehow.
- Have more irons in the fire than what you’re watching being taken out. In other words, for every iron taken out, replace it with another.
- Finally, but not constrained to these 10 pieces of wisdom I’ve gained, when it’s time to move on and forward, move on and forward because you’re going to be pushed into it one way or another.
I know this may sound incredibly silly to some who would see a tree as nothing more than a tree but, part of the charm of this house was the tree and the way that it provided us privacy as well as it’s sweeping large branches that sheltered many animal’s homes and play areas. It also represented the 4 decades that we’ve spent in this house as well as my thoughts, memories and much more. It’s symbolic of so much to me, personally. It will also cost a great deal, we’re sure, to have even a huge limb to be removed and we simply don’t have that money but will have to borrow it from somewhere.
That said, I have been wanting to leave this house for decades but, family members once living either with us or around us, kept us here for caregiving and other reasons. Now, it’s simply the nudge that I needed to put my foot down and say….
“Time to leave!”
Be well. Love and Light,
Have a great day or evening.