Monday, August 8, 2011

The Deepest Cut of All

The other day the doorbell rang. It had been one of those crazy days, and I was downstairs getting things ready for company to arrive. Hoping my guests hadn't shown up earlier than planned on, I hastened up the stairs to answer. An older man I didn't recognize stood on my doorstep, a grim expression on his face. Before I could say anything, he gave me a doleful look, then said, "Ma'am, were you aware that your pine tree over there is a nuisance to our power lines?"

Stunned, I followed his gaze and glanced at the tall pine tree. It was a blue spruce, something my husband and I had planted years ago to the side of our home. It was at least ten feet away from the nearest power line and to my way of thinking, it was not a problem. However, I was given little choice in the matter. I was informed that it would need to be trimmed, and as such, a tree cutting service would be coming by within the week to take care of the problem. It was explained that if the cut was made now, most of the tree could be saved.

I was handed a paper explaining that the power company had the right to trim any trees that  threatened the well-being of power lines, and with that, the dour man left. When my husband returned home, I showed him the paper and shared what had been said earlier by the power representative. Kennon was about as amused as I was. When our home had first been built, we had carefully planned our landscaping, planting grass and trees where they could flourish. That particular tree had been placed several feet away from the nearest power line. Saddened by the decision that had been made without our consent, we ventured outside to take a closer look at the situation, but could not see how our beautiful tree posed a problem.

A few days passed and one afternoon as my husband and I were returning from town, we spotted the tree-cutting service truck. It was down the street at a neighbor's yard where several trees were receiving an interesting "hair-cut." Slowly that dreaded truck made its way closer to our home. Grabbing my camera, I went outside to take a final shot of our tree . . . before it was cut into a humiliating shape.

The tree still lives, but the unflattering cut will forever leave its mark. The other day as I gazed sadly at what is left of it, I was struck with an analogy. How often in our lives do we make similar cuts in the lives of those around us? Perhaps we think we are doing a good thing, pointing out the flaws others possess. But when we do so, does it help the situation, or make it worse? Are the wounds inflicted necessary . . . or is there a better way to assist those who, in our opinion, need a good "trimming?" Something to think about.


Jennie said...

Oh those darn power company tree trimmers! People who plant their trees under power lines get what they deserve, but others who plant trees a comfortable distance from powerlines seem to get their poor trees whacked just so the tree trimmers have something to do and stay employed. I know someone who insists on being told exactly which branches are a problem and does the trimming before the tree whackers can mutilate his trees.

Cheri J. Crane said...

That's what we should have done, Jennie. They acted like we didn't have a choice, though. I still can't believe what they did to our poor tree. It looks like it has a permanent bad haircut. And I think you're right--they were trying to keep busy. I noticed they cut trees all over town, including some like ours that didn't really need it.

Valerie said...

Even without a photo, it makes me sad for the tree and for you. But great thoughts about doing some trimming of our own to others. (Just stumbled onto your blog)

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Valerie,

Thanks for stopping by. And yes, I'm still sad about my tree. People are making fun of how it looks now. ;) It's a reminder to me to avoid doing something similar to those around me.