We got a new patio this week. It is gorgeous, and my biggest payment yet for a painting. Two paintings, actually, and I may have to paint several more till I feel like we really have balanced the cosmic scales of emotional debt. I hardly think my humble paintings will be enough. It is a really nice patio.
There was no problem for me when we had to tear out our rickety old garden boxes to accommodate the bobcat tractor that would plow out the area for the patio. In our ongoing “You-get-what-you-pay-for” lesson, we learned that using weather treated wood for garden boxes is less of a suggestion and more of an “If you buy the cheep stuff it will fall apart in a year, ya moron.” The boxes were returning to nature by way of disintegration. They had to go. Our friend Dennis and his bobcat wiped them out in one stroke.
But to get the bobcat into the yard, we had to go up the side of the house where a delightful little tree was growing. The tree (Dennis called it a tall bush) was planted via the "bird-eats-berry-bird-poops-seeds" method. While this method can produce cheerful and welcome little surprises, it can produce them in odd places. This particular surprise had sprouted dead center in the middle of the path close to the gate. Not a problem when you are on foot, but a considerable one when you are trying to bulldoze.
Now, you may already know I love trees. Here is why I loved this particular tree: the best room in our house is Ellie’s room. Bright daylight makes it glow, the AC works best in that room, and the coziest bed in the house can be found there. I love to sneak a Sunday nap in that lovely room. A large double window gushes with glowing Southern light, and just beyond it, breaking the beams into marvelous dappled green strands of inspiration, stood the tree. It fluttered in the breeze and made the room come alive with moving light. It made me feel a million miles away from the world. From my spot on that terrific bed I could pretend that a glorious Eden of green meadows and verdant groves lay beyond. It really was a lovely little tree.
T'wern't nothing for Dennis to take his chain saw to the tree. Felled in an instant. I tried not to be sentimental.
I guess this is what can happen when you allow something to develop in your life that doesn’t really belong there. Sometimes we let something grow into our lives, barely noticing it, until later when it becomes a problem. And it can be a good thing, or could have been, if it had happened in the right order, time or place. But outside of those conditions, even something great can be, well, not so great.
The room looks very different to me now. A dilapidated wooden fence glares at me through the window. It was always there, but now I see it plainly. I suppose this is what happens when we get rid of things in our lives that were out of place. Sometimes what’s left is a little ugly.
But the patio that it made room for is going to be amazing.