So this is it. The house is packed and the round of farewells is complete. We are about to sleep in our house of twenty years for the last time and our current thinking is we probably won’t return to live here again (we can’t bear the idea of all that unpacking!). Too late to do anything about the things we meant to sort out before we left, too late for regrets.
There is an ancient tree in Kew Gardens that was lifted out of the ground by the hurricane in 1987 and bizarrely was dumped back in the hole again by the wind. Because it hadn’t fallen over, and with 700 other fallen tress to deal with, the authorities decided dealing with it was a lower priority. After a few years they noticed a strange phenomenon. The tree, which before the storm they had thought had reached the end of its natural life as it had stopped producing new stems, was once again full of life. The lifting of the roots had loosened the compacted soil around the base of the tree allowing oxygen and nutrients to get to the roots once again. The received wisdom now is to inject air and nutrients into the base of trees to keep them healthy and to keep the ground around the tree looser.
So how do we keep the soil loose around our own ‘roots’? Yes, we may not all be able to up sticks and travel, especially in certain seasons of our lives, but not-getting-entrenched is an attitude of mind that we need to cultivate one way or another, otherwise the life gets squeezed out of us! Holding onto what we have more lightly and being prepared for change seems to be a pre-cursor to growing new shoots.
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