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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gardening and Change

I first started thinking about change when I first began college.  Everything was so different in my life from what had been routine and familiar, and adapting was sometimes challenging.  At that time, in the fall of 1965, America was changing too, and part of my adaptation to the national changes was to retreat into political conservatism for a spell.  In the next few years I switched back and forth in my politics which is common during college years, at least during those college years.

Gardeners are always conscious of change- changes in weather, changes in seasons, etc., but sometimes we have to deal with unexpected sudden major changes.  Such is the case now because a storm last Thursday uprooted a large oak tree in our back yard.  Although the bulk of the tree trunk fell into the neighbor's yard, we were left with an upended stump and root system about 12 feet in diameter:

The tree crews have been working on removal for the past few days, but when they finish we'll have a gap where once stood trees, decorative plants, and two of my screening bamboo structures (One of the damaged structures is visible near the center of the above photo.).

Just prior to the storm, we had been talking about how great the yard looked and how we should invite people over to show it off.  The front and side yards are fine, and about 3/4 of the back yard was undamaged, but it's discouraging to have to replace years of work.  A young neighbor came over recently to survey the damage and to admire what's remaining, and he remarked that we should look on the event as an opportunity.  He's right, of course, but it's easier to look at things that way when you're his age, about 30 years younger than we are.  That garden and the look of the back yard had been just as we wanted it.

It's often said that coping with change is harder as you get older.  Even so, we've managed to be philosophical about this and console ourselves that no one was hurt and our living space was undamaged.

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