5.24.2013

Perceptive Perspective

   The early summer rains in Montana fueled a massive growth spurt in our elder Spruce trees. They are beautiful Siamese triplets, planted closely together in order to create a northwest windbreak. They serve their purpose well and provide a visual screen for the adjacent busy thoroughfare. A year ago we were devastated to see a handwritten note on the door requesting a meeting regarding the landmark Spruce trees.
Spruce Tree Play Area   The western most tree was deemed to close to the high voltage lines that had been recently added atop existing service lines. All I could think of was this tree that was as old as me and all the care that I had devoted in the past years. I wanted to fight for her and her sisters that would certainly look emaciated without their companion.
   The representative was kind and logical which made it hard to argue against the reality at hand. I am not sure if his disposition was required for the job, or if it was the result of this type of work. The empathetic side of me could not imagine having to confront homeowners daily, and request the destruction or disfigurement of their beloved mature landscaping.
   In the end, the electric co-op took down the tree in a professional manner and even covered the cost to have the stump ground down. This would have been a significant expense to my household. Truthfully, I knew in my gut that the tree needed to be managed sooner than later.
   Aside from the expense of removing the tree, we gained an even greater reward. The rather large vacant space needed to be resolved as it looked awkward and was a magnet for weeds. My wife and I never thought much of our front yard, but after this event and reexamining the void, we soon realized the potential of the previously abandoned space.
   I share this story because it has been a profound reminder to me that we as human beings rarely have the long distance view necessary to understand the complexity of life. At the time it was impossible to see how this loss could positively shape the future. With all the worry and shortsightedness, I missed what a blessing it really turned out to be.

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