A Mini-Retreat And a Dilemma

A week ago Sunday while feeding the birds and squirrels, I noticed a limb had come off a wild-cherry tree. The limb jutted into the yard, a problem because we have people mow that section of the yard for us. The limb hadn’t been down long; the beautiful pink blossoms were still on the leaves. I thought, “Well, I need to take care of that. I know what I’ll be doing the next day or so if the weather’s nice!”

Although the mowers had come earlier in the week, I wanted to take care of this little project soon. Not only because of the mowers, but also with spring here, every day brings new growth and ground cover, which makes it harder to see where you are walking while trimming a tree. Warmer days, more ground cover, and the abundance of rocks make that area attractive to snakes–another incentive to get started!

The next day , I took my trusty pruning saw (I don’t have the physical strength to use a chainsaw), my ice tea, chair, lopping shears, and cart to the limb and settled in to work. The weather was pleasant–temperature around 65 degrees, low humidity, and sunny. The birds sang cheerful accompaniment as I sawed, clipped and picked up the fallen sticks. I got the smallest part of the limb (the part which protruded) cut off, but decided I wanted to cut more off Tuesday.

Tuesday, I gathered my supplies and walked up the hill. The weather was perfect–warmer and than Monday, but still with low humidity. I took the pruning saw and cut two foot-long pieces from the limb and picked up some stray twigs, being careful to watch where I put my feet, in case a snake had come out of hiding. When my legs and back started complaining, I sat down, drank some ice tea, and enjoyed my time in God’s creation. With the warm breezes, blue sky, bird songs, and the knowledge that I was on my own schedule and didn’t have to answer to anyone, it truly was a mini-retreat.

As the afternoon progressed, the gentle breezes became gusty winds, and I realized I had a bit of a dilemma with my wood-cutting project. Part of the limb was caught on the main tree by a piece of wood, and when the rest of the limb came down, it didn’t fall on the ground. It came down on a rotted branch sticking out from the limb, and the branch was on a rock, so the branch was in the air between the limb and the rock. I wanted to get more of the 5-inch to 6-inch round limb cut off, but every time I cut more off, the whole dangling limb swayed slightly. Since the limb was curved, I wondered how much more I dared to cut off. If the limb fell, would it fall straight down, or would it roll off the rock when the rotted branch broke under the weight, and come towards me?? I didn’t know what particular law of physics would apply in this case, but I did know from watching my father cut trees down that you can’t always tell how a tree will go. The wind picked up even more, making the situation more uncertain. Dilemmas, dilemmas!

I finally solved this particular dilemma by calling an end to the project. I had cut the limb back far enough that the mowers could cut the grass without any problems, and that was my original intent. God, through nature, could take care of the rest.

©P. Booher

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