Besides my ‘Family’ tree, I have many other trees in my life.

The landscaper paid a visit the other day to talk to me about my trees. He stopped by to also discuss my bamboo situation in my beautiful backyard…to count how many and exactly which branches of bamboo he is going to cut down…cut down before the many bamboo branches take over my backyard.

“It’s not a good situation,” said the landscaper, “This bamboo is getting out of hand and could soon work it’s way across the yard…you would not want that to happen.”

“No I would not want that to happen,” I agreed. “And look at this beautiful Japanese Red Maple tree…look what the bamboo is doing to my beautiful Japanese Red Maple tree,” I added, “The big bamboo branches are sucking it dry.”

“That Japanese Red Maple tree has undergone a lot of stress from the bamboo and drought,” said the landscaper as he examined the branches. “It has canker sores…it is under stress…do you know what I mean?” said the landscaper.

“Know what you mean…know what you mean? I am the queen of canker sores. I get canker sores whenever I am stressed out.” I wanted to scream…yet instead, I just nodded my head and said, “Yes, yes, I know what you mean, I know exactly what you mean.”

And as though he were seeing through me and not the tree, the landscaper continued, “That tree needs to be nourished. It needs to be taken care of…it needs nutrients. But, I think with some tender loving care we should be able to revive it this spring and help it get stronger.”

“Tender loving care, nourishment,” it sounds like my Japanese Maple tree is a metaphor for me…it’s gone through an inordinate amount of stress…been sucked dry and now it needs some tender loving care…needs nourishment…yep, sounds just like someone I know well whose name happens to start with a capital ‘J’ and ends with a little ‘i’.

“The other two maples need to come down,” said the landscaper as he surveyed the large maple trees that are cutting into the foundation near my basement steps. “One is hollow inside and showing it’s age and the other skinny maple is not a great tree either. I would advise they come down to prevent any potential branch or tree stump from falling on your house and doing significant damage.”

“Absolutely,” I agreed. “It is time to cut down the hollowed out maple tree and the skinny one too…I don’t want any trees cutting into my foundation. I don’t want to ever be in bed with two maple trees, which is exactly where they would fall if they decided to drop any time soon. No trees in my bed, thank you very much! “Let’s get rid of them pronto,” I replied. “Cut them both down as soon as you can.”

The landscaper marked the 25 bamboo branches that will be coming down in the next few weeks. And he hung red ribbons around the two trees that will be gone before Thanksgiving.

As I attended my yoga class later in the week, I felt free of the heavy trees and extra bamboo branches that have been weighing down on my life and weighing down on the other beautiful trees in my backyard.

“We’re going to do the tree position today,” said my yoga teacher. “It’s time to stand tall…like a strong tree,” she said.

I was ready to stand tall. Ready to be my own tree. First, I straightened my left leg and brought my right leg to my knee. Steady…steady…you can do this…I said to myself. Then I straightened my right leg and brought my left leg to my knee. Steady…steady…you can do this side too…I told myself. My core was tight…as I wavered a bit back and forth…I tried to hold onto each position a little bit longer.

I’m getting better I thought…getting a little bit better each time I try my tree stance. One day…one day…I’m going to be a very strong tree…and with a little extra nourishment and tender loving care…my branches and my core are definitely going to get stronger so I can be a beautiful tree.