Its Hard To Let Go

It’s a little tough for me this time a year. Its the end of the killing season worldwide and like always the plants are moving into hibernation or reaching the end of their seasonal lifespan. Everything and everyone is moving on and getting ready for the next year, but sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in time. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a place in time and I can’t move forward, I cant progress or make improvement. I feel like I cant let go of something, but I also cant imagine my life if I had.

Something happened to me a long time ago, in fact this November marks a 10 year anniversary of sorts. Sometimes trauma can be very hard to describe, but I can describe how it interferes with my day to day life. Firstly and probably most obviously is I’m obsessed with plants, I always have been ever since I was a child. Maybe it was a little more shrouded in other passions I had before I was like this, but there was always plants in my room and I can remember being constantly scolded by my parents for digging up plants in the yard. I never imagined my life taking such a serious turn where I would basically frame my entire future on this one single passion. Around this time ten years ago I had a single thought in my head on a day where I was feeling specifically low,

“I need to go all in on this”

I know its super vague and without context it really doesn’t mean anything, to me it did though, I feel like a lightning bolt shot out of the sky and struck my right in the center of my brain. I’m almost glad it happened like that too, because that’s the reason I’m still alive today. I stopped slacking in a way I cant really describe. I feel like my life got a true purpose on a single day because of a single event, it feels something like what divine intervention is supposed to be but there’s other things that hold me back from making it work. I feel like sometimes the world is playing some kind of cruel joke on me, but just knowing that I think like that also seems like I’m slowly losing my mind.

My current job is to help people help their sick plants. I go out to properties for consultation type deals but sometimes they also come to me with photos and descriptions and the like. The other day though a customer came to me with a sick cherry tree. He had been watering it every day three times a day for 8 minutes each on a drip emitter that has never moved from where it was installed. He also fertilized it several times a year, including in the fall and winter.

I only tried to recommend to him to change some of the ways he was taking care of it, and I was abruptly met with a “Ive been taking care of it like this for the last 10 years” and that answer disturbed me in more ways than one.

A human can smoke cigarettes for ten years and nothing happens until it happens, and trees are very much the same way. It’s years of stress and years of abuse until the vessel can no longer handle it. When I told him that I heard myself say the words as well, and it was almost like I was really speaking to myself. Ive been under stress for years just like that cherry tree, and I’m starting to feel the ways its affecting me. The conversation resolved and he left a little upset, he wanted me to tell him to just “Put something on it to make it better” and that’s not how it works. You cant just throw some fertilizer on it or spray it with something to make it better, you have to change the way you take care of it, and repair as best you can the damage that’s been done. Trees are the same as people in a way, we cant just slap a band-aid on a broken bone, there is no miracle cure. The answer is to understand where the original damage came from in the first place.

He was genuinely upset with me, but not as upset as I was with myself.

I have a plant that is not doing so well, I have to look at it every day and see it slowly decline in health. I saw it declining for a long time and I didn’t do anything to help it and now its too late. I think about the things that were going on in my life at the time, and its so painful to think that I couldn’t spare just a little bit of time for something I’ve taken care of for so many years.This upcoming year I want to try and do better, I’ll pay attention to the details that I didn’t before, but God knows it’s hard to let go.


Author: garesgarden

ISA Certified Arborist, Amateur Botanist, and future Agricultural Engineer.

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