Pulling up roots is painful!

Today I said goodbye to a crusty and often disagreeable tenant.
There were times when we butted heads, but despite our occasional differences in perceiving the world, she stayed on for just over two years.
That tells me it couldn’t have been as bad as she often told me it was!
Very often our happiness, and state of mind pivot around our perceptions.
Maybe the tenant said goodbye to a crusty and disagreeable landlord?

I was watering a tenacious yucca earlier when I started thinking about “roots.”
There we were, two people in the process of saying goodbye.
Connections were uprooted.
I looked at the yucca closely.
The plant is still small. But I know the roots are already formidable.
The need to survive makes a species infinitely adaptable.

When we reckon we’ve landed on tough times we often allow our roots go deep.
When nourishment isn’t abundant we may draw on the strength we never realized we had.
We all have those deep pockets of resourcefulness we never thought we would tap into — until circumstances moved us to discover otherwise.

I noticed a vulnerability within my former tenant this morning.
She planned the uprooting process long before I was even notified.
But there’s a lot of emotions in circulation when that last connection with the familiar ground is severed.

Even even if you’ve been with someone for a while, and those times weren’t the greatest— leaving still isn’t all that easy.
While you were entrenched within a tough situation, it goes without saying that you were growing as well.
Even in the toughest of times you no doubt experienced profound, or memorable moments.

We share similarities with trees.
All trees have annual growth rings on the inside that bears testimony to the tough times, and the more abundant seasons.
We’re always growing in terms of experience.

Everything we were is necessarily a part of everything we are now, and also becomes a part of everything we’re moving towards.

The previous year’s thin little growth ring is still attached to the one I’m in the process of adding right now!
And by the looks of it,  the “2020 ring” isn’t going to be one of abundance either!
My military training was tough, but I’ll be damned if I were to ask someone to remove those memories!
Interwoven between blood, sweat, and tears were some of the funniest things I ever experienced!

Occasionally I refer to my annual growth rings that bear testimony to some of the toughest experiences I had to live through.
And I’m quite fine with that!
It’s simple really.
Whenever you get rid of a tree, you take everything, the dead branches, the thick ones, thin ones, the leaves, and the flowers!

There no such thing like, “Hey dude, chop down that tree, but just leave the nice shade it provides!”

We know all of this, and yet— there’s still that shock we experience when we see the gaping hole that’s left by the familiar presence of a tree we were accustomed to for so long!
“Honey, now it looks so empty near the fence, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all!”

One of my Stoic friends from the military days always seemed to get along with everyone.
“If you can’t choose who gets planted next to you, then you might as well get used to seeing them.”
For maximum effect, I substituted “stationed” with “planted!”
Seeing as I’m belaboring the tree-analogy!

It’s a good thing that trees don’t get to choose who takes seed next to them.

If that were the case, we would never have experienced the immense richness of forests that formed such perfect asymmetry within incredibly tangled diversity.
If we could choose the precise way in which we interacted with other people it would have been a relatively safe, but also an ultimately sterile, and quite bland way of life.

So we can’t always choose who ends up next to us, and we can choose to become “ok” with them, and I can work with that— but that buddy of mine had more Stoic wisdom though!
“If we can get used to other people, we might as well find something about them that we like.”
“And who knows, they might even return the favor!”