The chainsaws are busy again at Camp Many Moons. It got me thinking. How do you know when to trim back and when to lop off? The question applies not just to trees but also to outmoded habits. Or stuff you don’t use any more. Or relationships.
When it comes to trees, the answer is easier. If it’s dead, it comes down. (I’ve become ruthless about this even if it provides some screening. I feel strongly about privacy, since I’m an introvert. But I feel even more strongly about looking at dead trees.) If it’s just starting to go, I usually trim the dead limbs and let it stand awhile longer.
Trees give you visual clues. Other things are more complicated. It takes some self-awareness. Have you noticed that some habits, things, and even certain people can start to weigh you down? It makes sense, because we are always evolving. What worked before doesn’t work now. Still, how many of us are hanging onto things we don’t use but can’t give up? Habits that once served us, but don’t any more? And when it comes to people…! That one is tough. I’ve ended a marriage, a few friendships and several romantic relationships in my life. It was hard and felt horrible! But the space left behind was filled, over time, by wiser choices. And most of those former romances became friendships.
So, some trees come down and some get trimmed up. When I first bought this plot of land, I hated cutting down trees. Any trees. I negotiated each one with Jeff, who did all the cutting. Now I have my own little chainsaw and I’m not afraid to use it. (Jeff still handles all the big stuff.) I realize that I’m making room for a better view, and new growth.
Kind of like getting rid of unused stuff and old habits. I’m efficient about the first after living in small spaces for years. The second? Not so much. But I’m working at it! Photos of recent trim-and-lop operations at Camp Many Moons, below.