I was feeling sad/guilty about digging up the red bud tree I planted too close to another red bud tree. For the past three years they have both grown ferociously, their limbs weaving ever tighter into one another. One of them had to go or both would die.
Hacking away with a saw and shovel, pondering the cruel choices of life, the propulsive expansion of nature, the way our minds create value differences resulting in "weeds" and "beautiful trees," I was approached by my 80-year-old neighbor, ax and chainsaw in hand.
We worked well together. Thwack, thwack, thwack, zzzzzzt, zzzzzt — the red bud was uprooted, slaughtered, and quartered in a fraction of the time I'd allotted; efficiently stashed in a brown lawn bag before I could say: "Sorry for the poor planting job, little guy."
I love neighbors, and neighbors helping each other, and people of different generations coming together. All that created a warm, fuzzy, neighbor glow in my heart, but but but — the tree: so unceremoniously executed.
I'm going to have to perform a little good-bye ceremony to it in the alley tonight.
The moral? Follow the planting directions on the tag.