I remember sitting at my desk crumpling a piece of yellow lined paper after I had made a mistake practicing my penmanship. We had learned the Palmer Method in first grade. In fact we learned to write cursive before we learned how to print which made it difficult for us to read at first! They only tried that way of teaching for one year! It proved not to be perfect!

We practiced that pennmanship ritual for hours each week on yellow lined paper and finally when it was perfect we got to write on white lined paper with ink. We strived for that accomplishment over and over until it was PERFECT.

That is just one instance of what "grew" me. Today I am working harder than ever to over come the need for perfection. In some ways I am embracing the idea because it certainly frees my spirit, but I still hold on with a pang to think that I am dumbing down and not trying my best.

I have been working on that for a few months now and today I was put to a trial.

Hurricane Sandy rolled in with close to 80 mile an hour winds yesterday and I sat in my front room looking out the picture window at my awesome perfectly shaped pear tree. It was being thrashed around and with each gust of wind I would hold my breath to see if it was safe. After the power went out, I left the house and returned a few hours later to see this. I was not on guard and did not wish the tree safely through the storm. It broke.

I sat today looking at it from every angle and my heart sank over and over to see it in some angles as imperfect. After all we chose this tree because it was so symmetrical and PERFECT! Now it isn't.  I wrestle with the idea of whether or not to cut it down, but then it will not match the size of the rest of the landscaping should I decide to replace it. But it isn't quite perfect now, so how can I leave it standing? Large areas of light shine through where the canopy once was full and lush. The squirrels are even perplexed looking for their abundance of miniature fruit to store for winter. They had thought they had enough to winter them over and now much of it is gone.

"PERFECT".  I wish I could let it go, but it is gnawing at me. I will work on it over the winter and revisit the tree next spring. Perhaps I will be grown by then into a more relaxed being and let this tree grow into a less perfect specimen too, as a reminder each time I look at it to remember that I can be a little less stringent and bend before I break!
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Diana said...

Oh I'm so sorry about your tree! We have one Maple tree in our yard, that's it, just one tree and I love it so much.
Love Di ♥

Anonymous said...

It will leaf out and be prettier than ever! Pruning is good for the tree
...and the soul.