I have a large tree in my back yard. It is a white pine. It is already three times taller than the house and looks like it will get even taller.
I’ve thought about having it cut down, but it provides a lot of nice shade. The only time I really start to worry about it is when there is a big storm with a lot of wind. Then it sways back and forth like a drunken sorority girl.
Part of the problem with this is that pine trees aren’t very flexible. Unlike a drunken sorority girl, when pine trees fall down they snap in half and are a big mess. They also have a habit of falling on houses – the trees, not the girls. When they go, they go in a big way and you are very inconvenienced.
I needed to do something with it for my peace of mind. There are a lot of windy storms here. I didn’t want to have it topped. That isn’t healthy for the tree. I called different arborists and decided on one who is a druid. No, I’m not kidding. There is an arborist in Nashville who really is a druid. Seemed to me like the best choice. I mean, who is going to know trees better than a druid?
He decided the best thing to do was to thin the tree. Imagine holding your hand flat in water with your fingers together. Then drag your hand like that through the water. There is a lot of resistance. Then open up your fingers and do the same thing. It will go through the water a lot easier. He planned on doing the same thing to the tree. The branches were thinned so now the wind passes through it rather than hitting it.
The tree is now better able to handle the winds. It is less likely to break. I feel safer, and it looks stronger.
I recently read a piece about anger. It pointed out several different signs that you are repressing your anger. Repressed anger is just as dangerous as a pine tree in a strong wind. It too can be a big mess to deal with. It too can destroy your home.
Several of my friends read this and commented that they noticed that they have a lot of those symptoms. Their response to it was to wonder what or who they were angry about or with.
It isn’t about the thing or the person that is causing your anger. It is about the fact that your response to a difficult situation is to get angry. Nobody causes you to get angry. It is a choice. It is a reaction. It is a response.
You are the tree. The wind is the adversity. Resist it, fight against it, and you’ll break. Let it pass through you and you’ll stand strong. It is all about approach and nothing about the situation.
I was given a good image at the retreat I was at a few weeks ago. Imagine you are in a rowboat on a lake. When a speedboat zooms by, you have the choice to just let it pass by and calmly ride out the waves until the lake goes back to being still. Shaking your fist and yelling at the driver of the speedboat doesn’t change the situation, and in fact it is likely to make you more upset. Let it pass by and not affect you. This way you will survive.