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Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get ‘it’ all down…how to live this thing called Life successfully enough that I don’t need to have so many do-over’s or RE-awakenings. Like making decisions. I make several a day: what to eat or wear; which project to work on first; scheduling appointments, what music or movie to enjoy, etc. I’m grateful that I get to choose such things for my life. These types of decisions don’t have major significant consequences, but there are others that do…others that have long-term effects.

What I’ve been RE-awakened to are some decisions I made several years ago that seemed insignificant at the time. This has to do with my landscape plans and the large trees I decided to plant. When the trees went in I knew full well how large they could get, how wide they would be, and how and where their deep roots might grow and wander. The thing is I had no plans to be living on this property by the time they became a concern. Well, plans change and here I am, facing the consequences of my former landscape decisions.

In the Science of Mind textbook (p. 388.4) Ernest Holmes writes: “And so we prepare not to die, but to live.” This now is a great reminder about what perspective to have when making decisions of any kind, but especially long-term ones.

Had I made my previous tree-planting decisions with the thought of being the person who would now be trimming, or even eliminating, one large tree (and several smaller ones), I definitely would have made different choices. One of the key influences to my decision-making process is that, up until recent months, I moved homes every two to four years. Sometimes, I moved more often than that. The idea of living in one place long enough to actually watch a tree mature and become a nuisance was entirely foreign to me. Now, it’s rather comforting to imagine that possibility.

I have this vision of growing ancient in this home…of tending gardens and planting perennials… of building sandboxes and playing with many grandchildren on the swing set of our children… of hearing each floor squeak get louder each winter… of crafting from piles of endless stored supplies… of actually sitting on the front deck to watch the sunrise in the summer… and a myriad of other activities as the years float by. With such a vision before me, the decisions I make now are for the long-term. Thus, they are made with greater forethought and consideration than in years past… the way I wished I had made them to begin with when I planted all these trees.

I will make a formal amends to the trees that now must be cut down to stop the damage to my home’s roof and foundation. And I’ve learned to make better choices in every area of my life as a result of this experience… as some decisions are certain to outlive my mortal body. For now, I “…prepare not to die, but to live” a long, healthy and wisdom-filled life.

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