Dense, lanky trees huddle in the middle of my backyard, like a circle of arrogant school girls they intermingle so tightly, not a ray of sun can penetrate their tangled arms. We have tried for three years to get grass to grow in their shadows. Even the most shade tolerant grass shivers in their coldness. These trees are tall and lean. Their branches brush one another, locking limbs, keeping each other from reaching their full potential.
“What do you mean we have to cut down healthy ones?” I asked DW as he started to plan his summer yard work projects.
Although all of the trees were thriving, the only way we were going to have a lush green backyard, was to provide the ground with more sunlight. Making that happen, meant thinning out the herd. It saddened me to see these green topped giants fall fearlessly to the ground, leaves spanning out across the earth in surrender. DW cut them in pieces, stacked them along our tree line, creating a natural fence between our yard and the woods.
Five trees were sacrificed. Currently their cropped stumps stand like tombstones around the yard, waiting for us to rent a stump grinder and remove the last trace of their existence. But as the morning sun rose this weekend, our yard was filled with light. Where shadows had once consumed, illumination emerged. Growth was finally a possibility.
I couldn’t help but think how life is like my yard. We get caught in the shadows of our family’s needs, friends and work. Our commitments intermingle so tightly they stunt our growth. Not everything keeping us from being the person we want to be in life is unhealthy. Sometimes it is just an over abundance that is choking out the light, keeping us in the dark, when what we need to be doing is planting some seeds.