new growth . . .
In front of our Queen Anne Victorian home, we’ve had a mountain laurel tree growing in the courtyard garden for over twenty years. Then one night a few years ago, there was a heavy rainstorm and we heard what sounded like a soft sigh in the middle of the night. We woke to see the tree toppled over from internal rot that wasn’t visible from the outside.
Our despair was softened by a four foot high shoot that seemed sturdy and ready to bear leaves. Ah, a baby tree that might replace the ill-fated parent tree. It grew to be about eight feet tall until we noticed last year that the leaves shriveled up and that life had seeped away from it too. Bereft, we dug it up and mourned its loss. Meanwhile, across the street at G.’s mother’s house, the decades old weeping cherry tree was also damaged during a storm and taken down, leaving a bare patch near the driveway.
I did some research on replacement trees and made the rounds of some nurseries in the towns nearby. Flowering pear trees appeared alongside the post office, white and fluffy for awhile but were uninteresting to me. Down the street a ways was a mature coral dogwood tree whose branches had filled out bearing flowers, both lovely and modest. I went to Lowe’s on the suggestion of a neighbor down the street and came across two six foot high dogwood saplings for $29.95 each. I bought them both and carted them home in my Subaru wagon. Into the ground they went here and also across the street. Then, we wondered aloud how long it would take before flowers might appear on the small trees.
Kept upstairs like Rapunzel due to my ankle injury in February, I have only been able to be down in the yard for medical checkups and out to the grocery store. Lo and behold this week, our dogwood and the one across the street bloomed. What a wonderful sight to see them yesterday, and so heartening after a winter filled with anxiety and being cooped up.
This blossoming coincided with a new way for me to manage things in my life: to be less passive about things or people that bother me, and to nip in the bud situations that festered long enough, some of my own making, but mostly not. One by one, I took them on with polite firmness. As each fell by the wayside, I felt better and better.
The dogwood blossoms bear out this new flowering of my psyche. Oh, isn’t it great that it’s finally Spring?