Yesterday I had a “hold my beer & wachis” moment. You see, there’s this old lemon tree in my backyard that the previous owner hacked up so badly that it was never going to produce anything, and it had gone back to root stock. Those thorns are dangerous.
This is my husband’s bow saw. Part of his dowry. Yes, he came into the marriage with tools. I had never seen a bow saw, and he used it often trimming trees wherever we lived. I love his bow saw. Now it is my inheritance from him.
With this saw, I worked at the trunk of that old lemon tree without success. A coiled rope under the carport, a light bulb comes on above my head. I tie one end of the rope to my car and the other end to the trunk of that tree. I drive forward slowly, feeling the rope straining taunt. I hear the tree creaking, and the rope straining; I see in my rear view mirror it’s leaning forward, I keep moving. Then bang! The rope snaps, the tree springs back upright. The rope decapitates my newly planted hydrangea bush and lands in my back door neighbors yard, the other end still tied to the lemon tree.
I’m nothing if not persistent. Now this project has become a challenge of wills. I try again and again, seven times tying that rope and inching forward.
In between, I see what is holding that tree. It has a root about as big as my arm. I pull out the bow saw again and attack that root. Like magic, the tree is released and I’m able (with the seventh rope and car pulling) to rip loose and drag that thorny thing across the yard. Death to you, old tree. Death to you.
But every death is a reminder of every other death.
I held that bow saw in my arms and hugged it like a newborn babe. Thank you God. Thank you Robert.
Sometimes something has bound up so strong that we just need to cut the root and free it – and ourselves. And move slowly forward.