An employee walked by, and we stopped him to ask about the tree.
"Do these grow here?" I asked.
"Oh, no," the employee said. "They'll never survive the winter."
"Then why are you selling it?"
"Well, we have some people who buy them kind of like an annual. They plant one, it eventually dies, then they just come replace it the next year," he said.
I was thinking about that tree again this week. A person's first reaction might be: "What kind of fool do you have to be to plant a $150 tree, knowing full well it's going to die in a few months?" I must not be in a tax bracket where this kind of logic makes sense.
But imagine if instead of planting a doomed tree, the person had planted a crabapple tree, or a lilac, or an oak, all of which love the northern climate. Eventually, the shade and beauty of that tree would be enjoyed by an entire neighborhood. Birds could nest there. Flowers could be gathered. The fall flame of leaves would signal the beginning of winter, and the buds...the promise of spring.
How often we try to be who we're not. Are you flowering in the constraints you've given yourself? Be yourself! Wear jeans and tennies. Eat a big old cookie for lunch. Spend the entire weekend reading. Adopt a few dogs. Throw your hair in a ponytail. Laugh at lowbrow jokes. Go to a few garage sales.
There is definitely a time for doing the things you SHOULD do. But for sure make time to do things you WANT to do and things you're naturally good at. (End your sentences with prepositions!) Who cares? Be interesting, because life is short like summer.
Oh, you've got a little food on your face...right there. No, there. Never mind!