I love this quote and I killed a tree today. Stay with me. They will tie together.
The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.
~ Dorothy Parker
It makes me sad to know I killed a tree. I love my garden space. I love to see it evolve. The plants in it are like silent children who dazzle me with their displays. I arrange them in teams so each one shines and is enhanced by the others.
The killing occurred while I was using the weed wacker. In all my years I’ve never used a weed wacker. It was one of those tasks that the Husbands took control of around the house. I’d split the hostas, trim the bushes, pick out the bulbs. The Husband of the day would trim the rough edges of the lawn and make them all pretty.
Without Husband #2 around I decided to tackle this task myself. I loaded the line, got out the extension cord, and went to town on the weeds. I thought I had a good grasp of the concept of weed wacking but I was wrong. The poor tree paid the price.
It turns out that I had underestimated the length of the line coming out of the wacker. I thought I could get close to the tree and hit the weeds and grass that were over growing the trunk. Instead of turning the weed wacker so that the guard would be against the tree, I had the unprotected side facing the bark. Sure enough, the line lashed out and completely stripped all of the bark off the trunk in a 3 inch high layer encircling the 2″ diameter trunk. My beautiful Japanese Maple was girdled just as cleanly as you can imagine.
Without that thin layer just below the hard bark, the tree will not get any water, sap or nutrients from the roots. It’s going to die. Not today, not tomorrow, but very soon.
While flipping through the latest Restoration Hardware catalog, I came across this quote from Dorothy Parker. How fitting! My weed wacking skills and my tongue have the same fatal flaw. I don’t know how to handle their power, their destructive capacity. Without the safety guard, my sharp tongue and sarcastic wit effectively removed the thin, protective layer Husband #2 needed to get nutrients from our deep love to our daily marriage. I killed our proverbial tree.
And I do realize that there is more to our ending than just my part. I’ll write about the betrayal of disengagement, which is how my part of our love was deeply wounded. For now we’ll stick to my side of this pancake.