In 2011, I saw my rainiest season in my 30 years of landscaping. We set records several times for Scioto County rainfall. We missed a few days due to rain, but we didn’t spend much time on watering or warranty.
This alleged winter was the mildest I’ve seen. Once again, the only reason we didn’t work was on rain days. We only had three snows, and they didn’t last a day. The cattle on the farm didn’t really leave the pasture grass and they ate about half the hay they normally do. I had plenty of good firewood weather to take down trees and grind stumps. This resulted in me gathering twice the firewood I normally would, and burning half as much as I thought I would. Doesn’t all this make you wonder if it’s global warming, or the change we were promised?
When I work all winter, I just don’t have time to sit by the fireplace with brown dog and solve these mysteries. I suppose with this limited time we should cut the chase and zero in on the most probable cause. When dealing with analytical perplexities of such scope and spectrum, I would usually resort to playing percentages and relying on history to repeat itself. My first thought might be to blame it on slow horses and fast women, then pass it on to Adam and Eve, and do as they did and lay it squarely on the serpent.
Now that spring seems to have emerged from a long fall, I’m seeing robins. It’s early March, and I’m out working or giving bids every day. The spring peepers are getting started now, also. The days are usually windy and change is in the air. Part of that change is wind and temperature and part is migration of birds. This is always intriguing to me.
In the fall, you expect to see them leaving or passing through our area. In the spring, you welcome them back. In a normal winter, with more time off, I would haul more gravel. When I visit the local gravel pits, I enjoy taking binoculars and identifying the diversified flocks of water fowl there. It is amazing how many ducks, geese, and mergansers, will spend their winter on these gravel pit ponds. They are, protected there and know it, so they’re not too difficult to watch.
Spring is such a time for renewal. Everything comes to life and this motivates us to keep up with it, or depresses us if we think we’re not prepared to keep up with the ever-changing world. Spring is such a pivotal moment in most people’s lives, and particularly in the landscaping world. If you’re not busy, you’re never going to be busy.
As I stated in another article, “Try thinking like a tree”. Listen to your elders – they’ve been around a lot longer than we have. – We might just learn something.
Take root and get a grip. If you’re top heavy, with stress or misdirection, you won’t have the foothold to withstand life’s wayward winds of destruction. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Try to keep reminding yourself of the 200-300 year old hemlock deep in the shade of the hollow, standing ever so tall and straight in search of the light, for all that time, and only able to do so because your roots have such a stranglehold on the rock below. That’s your rock, cling to it, and search for the light.
Branch out and discover the world around you. Be a part of it and better yet be a productive and supportive part of it. There’s two ways to approach it – you can be the hammer or you can be the nail. It’s your choice. With a plan you can be the hammer, and without it you can be the nail.
One part of branching out might be to read. As is stated on the Tree of Knowledge – “The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow.”
We could also give thought to seeking or being a “Sheltering Tree”. Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote YOUTH AND AGE , in which he states – “Nought cared this body for wind or weather, when youth and I lived in it together……Friendship is a sheltering tree.”
How true it is, and how many ways and forms it can take. I can always find peace in the forest, in any season. We can all take shelter from sun in its shade, or we can sleep in a hollow tree. Some trees provide food. We can also be that shelter tree for others. We can be the friend to someone who has lost a loved one, job, or health. We can provide the shelter from life’s problems to someone less fortunate than ourselves.
Isn’t this an excellent approach to spring? Shouldn’t we all try to learn from the shelter tree concept?
If we think of spring as a renewal and revitalization, isn’t that another way of saying we’re trying to make better use of our life, purpose, or time. Spring is an excellent time to reevaluate how we should spend our precious time we’re granted here. Let’s close with a few quotes on time and food for thought this spring.
“If you must kill time, work it to death”
“Time is a versatile performer. It flies, marches on, heals all wounds, runs out, and will tell.”
“Why is there rarely enough time to do it right, but always time to do it over?”
“What Mother Nature giveth, Father Time taketh away.”