I love birch trees and was thrilled that my house came equipped with several of them on the back border of my property. Birch tree trunks have a refreshing lack of color. Especially in deeply shaded places, the lightness is a nice contrast, and I love the texture of the bark.
Unfortunately, however, about a year ago, one of my old, large, double-trunked birches toppled to the ground. I was crushed. One of my favorite trees was gone, and in its place was a huge, gaping landscape hole.
Initially, I tried to move the tree trunks, but they were massive. I couldn’t budge them. Fortunately, the trees had fallen on the very back of my lot. My property has a steep drop from front to back, and for years, I have been trying to level things a bit. I decided that it would be okay to just leave the logs where they lie. I figured that eventually, soil might cover the trunks entirely, and until then, I could pretend that I live in a forest where trees randomly criss cross the terrain and perhaps a babbling brook creeps along nearby.
[True, I don’t have the babbling brook and I don’t even have the forest, but I do have a wonderful imagination].
But back to the fallen tree. As I said before, the tree fell a year ago, and just this week, I began adding some soil and plants close to where the tree had fallen. As I rooted around and began to dig, I noticed that baby birches have begun to sprout all al0ng the trunks of the fallen tree. It will take a while to happen, but while I had lost one tree last year, in several years, I should have several new trees in its place. In short–tthe Lord does take away and give back again–and often, what we get back is much better than what we lost.
The moral of the story is this: Let sleeping logs lie. If I could have done so, I would have “cleaned” up the debris of the fallen logs a year ago, but in doing so, I would have robbed myself of the baby birches that have sprouted from the “waste.”
In gardening, I often encounter a situation that requires a wait-and-see approach. Especially in a wild, unharnessed cottage garden, unidentifiable sprouts occur at will. The neat gardener might be tempted to weed out all the questionable sprigs, but I have learned that what initially appears to be a baby weed often grows to be a fine, perennial plant.
Just last week, a friend of mine reminded me that gardens have another dimension–that of Time. Learning to wait for Time might be the greatest lesson that gardening teaches us–learning to live and let live–learning to just be in the moment and allow–learning to let sleeping logs lie.