A Blue Spruce and Mindfulness

oak tree

A tree teaches me mindfulness, who’da thunk? Twenty-one years ago we planted a 6 inch spruce seedling which we got free at the fair. We carefully tended it for years, making sure we didn’t run over it with the lawn mower.

Last winter I was decorating its sparse branches with Christmas lights and realized that I could reach the top branches with no problem. A twenty year old tree!  The nursery catalog reads, “The magnificent sight of a silver blue-green spruce. It grows well while young and matures at 50-75’ with a 25’ spread.”  Our 6’ spruce was looking sick and definitely not thriving. How had I not noticed all these years? The nursery man said that spruce don’t like to have their feet wet. Ours was in the lowest spot in the yard, constantly moist, if not in a puddle. Again, how could I not have been aware that we should have transplanted it years ago. Now it was too late. Now the tree would never survive a move.

So last weekend we cut it down. I nearly cried. It should have been a tower standing true in the wind. Instead, we barely needed an axe, we basically just pushed it over. I hate cutting down a tree. But it had become a constant reminder of my poor care. I felt so bad that I had mistreated it all these years. I needed to move on. I cremated it in the bonfire pit. I sifted the compost, spread it out adding some soil, filled in the low spot and planted grass seed.

And on a high spot I planted an oak.

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