Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tree Trimming

When we moved into our home almost 10 years ago, aside for incredible bicoastal views and lots of space, one of the best things about this house was the huge avocado tree growing in the back yard.

This tree gave the most delicious buttery avocados I have ever tasted. The avocados were huge, about the size of a large grape fruit and some years we had so many avocados we had to send friends home with 8-10 avos each time they came over.

I lived on these avocados when I was nursing my first child, absolutely terrified to eat anything that might cause the poor baby gas or any other side affects I had read about.

Fresh mashed avocado was the very first food for all of my kids.

Pesach, we always had an abundance of the most delicious avocados.

This tree was so huge, it cast a massive shadow over our back porch giving it a natural shade from the strong Hawaiian sun. It was truly our magical tree.

Until one day the Maui Health Department arrived on our doorstep telling us that our dear avocado tree was too large and needed to be trimmed for various reasons.

In New York you get in trouble if you don't shovel the snow off your side walk. On Maui you get in trouble when your trees are too high. Go figure. Okay, we didn't actually get in trouble, we just had to take care of it right away.

So along came the tree trimmer. A trimmer. You go to the salon for a trim and she cuts an inch, maybe 2 off. Apparently, tree trimming on Maui means, cut most of the tree down leaving the trunk and a few stubby branches.

It was so depressing to see. I know, its just a tree you say. But this was a huge gorgeous tree, now just a brown stump. Okay, not a stump, its still the tree but imagine a huge tree with no branches or leaves. I was sad. The kids were all sad. Anyone who came over who looked at our tree got sad too.

Here it is. So so sad.

Well, the tree trimmer didn't seem too concerned. And any of our friends who know anything about landscaping and trees were just like,  "Wow, that is the best thing you could have done for that tree!" "Its going to grow back and be so much healthier!" "Your next avocados are going to be insane!"

Yeah, okay, whatever. The tree is gone, stop trying to make me feel better. It's really not working.


A few mornings after the tree was cut down I noticed this rather unusual influx of monarch butterflies flying around the yard. We're talking Disney Movie imagine the princess in the forrest and all the forest creatures flying around her amount of butterflies.

The kids would lay in the grass and have butterflies land on their noses, and we soon discovered a tree that had been somewhat smothered by the avo tree was now just blossoming, and I guess it was a tree that butterflies eat from and build their cocoons on cos now our garden is filled with these gorgeous butterflies.

And then the next morning, sitting at the kitchen table, the sun just came streaming in, creating this really gorgeous warmth. A warmth that had been blocked by this huge tree all these years.

After about a month, I started to notice these tiny green shoots coming out of the cut branches. These shoots have now turned into full on luminous green leaves.


I guess the tree trimmer wasn't just a chain saw happy meanie who destroyed our tree. I guess he knew what he was doing. Because now our tree looks really happy. And we have sun at the breakfast table. And there are butterflies flying around our garden all day. I guess its all going to be okay.

Kind of like life.

Sometimes, it seems like things are really good. And then something happens where it seems really really not so good. And it makes us really sad. We reminisce for the old life we had. How we wish things could just go back to the way they were.

But little do we know, that what seems really difficult is actually Hashems way of making us stronger. It is Hashems way of bringing in the butterflies, and the sunshine and the new brighter leaves.

We just need to listen to the experts. The landscapers who say its good for the tree to trim it down, cut down all the branches. To make room for the incredible blessings to come.

We all know that saying, 'It will all be okay in the end, if its not okay, its not the end.'

Its called having faith. And the next time you feel like a tree that has just been cut down, hang in there. Hang in there really tight, because sometimes the only way to let those blessings in, is by cutting down the tree.

Wishing you a wonderful week,

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