Banking on Trees…

As long as I’ve lived in this house…I have bemoaned the steep embankment that is my backyard…I’ve had some landscape work…doing my best to pretty it up…but…the fact remains…I have an incredibly small backyard…and it is essentially unusable…

So…lately…I’ve been entertaining the idea of a man with a bobcat…leveling out the bank…then…a retaining wall…and…viola…a backyard to enjoy…

And…I was all set to do it…in fact…the only thing holding me back was that I didn’t have the money…until…Bertha…had evidently had enough…so she pointed to the trees that are just beyond the privacy fence at the top of the embankment…and asked me just exactly where I thought their roots were…

Hmmm…down my embankment…

And…what would happen if I destroyed all the roots to the trees…

Ummm…the trees would fall on my house…

Then what…

My birds and squirrels wouldn’t have anywhere to nest…

And…what is my favorite part of the backyard…

Honestly…those trees…that don’t belong to me…whose roots are in my bank…and the wildlife that they offer a home to…

Okay…I’m sure you get the gist…even if I had the money…the embankment is staying…

Of course…Bertha…didn’t stop there…she had say that it reminded her of my life…and…how…sometimes…my least favorite things actually support my favorite things…

And…she’s right…again

Jane

Life in the Gutter…

Yesterday…after removing the tree from my yard…which was really not such a bad job…of course that’s easy for me to say…I wasn’t the one with the chainsaw…in the heat…carrying large chunks of tree down a steep embankment…while sidestepping shrubs and rose bushes and a few random plants…so I may have underestimated the ease with which the task was accomplished…but…I digress…

I had contracted for two things to be done…the tree removal…and gutter cleaning…now…I and the friend of a friend who was nice enough to take on the project…agreed…the tree would be the most challenging part…

Wrong…

Seems…I neglected to have my gutters cleaned last year…could it have been two years since he last cleaned them…yes…it could…seems as though last summer…when I was not feeling well after surgery…that I overlooked a few things…gutter cleaning was one of those things…

So…what should have taken about thirty minutes…it’s a small house…ended up taking about two hours…much longer than the tree removal…it seems as though the leaves that had been collecting in the gutters for the last two years…had clumped…and started to decay…making a gloopy mess that was clogging my downspouts…

I honestly felt bad for him…as he pulled out handfuls of the glump…until my gutters were once again draining freely…

We discussed the need to clean them every fall…after the neighbors’ leaves have fallen and blown onto my roof…I keep reminding everyone that I don’t have any trees…evidently that doesn’t matterwe all know that possession is nine-tenths of the law…and I seem to possess a lot of leaves

Anyway…we decided that he would help me remember in the future…and all was well…until I came back in the house…

That’s when…Bertha…informed me that the gutter glump reminded her of my life…now…you may have seen that one coming…but…it surprised me a bit…

She said that the issues I don’t deal with and let go of…just keep collecting…sitting…rotting…in my mind…like leaves in a gutter…she reminds me of the need to constantly clean them up…unlike the gutters…a year is way too long to go

As I think about what she’s said…I know she is right…I know that the time I spend…in prayer and contemplation…meditation…appreciation…writing…consciously saying the Forgiveness Prayer…removes my mental leaves…helping my life to run smoothly…but…sometimes…I get busy…I let my practices slide…I’ll do it later…and later becomes…tomorrow…and…tomorrow…and the leaves collect…and my life becomes…sluggish…frustrated…angry…

So…the challenge is…to…take the time…whether I think I need to or not…whether I think I have the time or not…to clean my mental gutters on a regular basis…and thankfully…I have…Bertha…to remind me…

Jane