Monday, March 26, 2012

Rain; transplanting; growth

This is the first thing I saw when I stuck my head out the back door to check today's weather:

Two things immediately leapt at me: First, I've never seen the tree this happy. I've been aquainted with this tree since 1985. A couple of years ago, I rescued it from where it had been living for so long, because its surroundings were being demolished and rebuilt. I popped it into a pail and stuck it in my back yard, where immediately it started radiating contentment. Where it had lived, for over a quarter of a century, was not the right place for it. Where it was, never truly nurtured it. But now, finally, it's happy—it loves living in a pot in my back yard, and it really, really, loved yesterday's rain. The weather that I found so debilitating was exactly what it needed. And today... I could feel it smiling.

The life lesson the tree is teaching us—and especially trying to teach me—is that being planted in a "nice spot," a spot that looks nice but doesn't nurture you, is the wrong spot. Doesn't matter how pleasant the planter looks; if where you're planted isn't nurturing you, why not move to somewhere that does? And, as you can tell from the picture, where it's living is hardly a luxurious botanical garden... but damn, it's really happy there. And that's what matters more, isn't it?

And another life lesson the tree is teaching us—especially us M.S.ers. You'll see at the top of the tree some dead branches... Last summer, the heat was absolutely brutal. The tree used to be taller; its leaves reaching beautifully up towards the sun. Those lovely high branches are, basically, dead. Its height is a thing of the past. The weather nearly killed the whole tree, but it definitely did in its upper branches.

And yet, it flourishes. In a completely new way. It was never "bushy," but now it is, and there's a different beauty in that. It even has a "guest" in its pot—of all things, an onion, a scallion we had tossed into its pot thinking that it would turn to fertilizer and instead it grew... it's nearly as tall as its neighbor the tree!

And what are its lessons? Rejoice in the rain. Grow the way that you can, and enjoy growing in new ways. The old tree? The tall one? It's gone—dead wood. Don't waste your time, attention, or energy on dead wood—but grow. The way that you can.

The Great Machine of the Universe—or our personal supernational gardeners, however you want to perceive it/him/her/them—have moved us to somewhere new. And put us out in the rain that we need, whether we know it or not.

Time to enjoy the rain. And grow.

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