Sometimes Wanting and Hard Work Isn't Enough

woods with undergrowthThis is an image that could be my neighbor's back yard ...

What do you see? I see a natural woods setting that is home to lots of undergrowth and critters. I think my neighbors see fewer trees, some lovely tall pine trees (they plant) with a weed-free, undergrowth-free space between the trees. For ten years I have watched these good people spend hundreds of hours (literally) out in this space every spring and summer trying to transform this space into what they want to see. By late August, it looks pretty good. In September, I see less of them outside, as they likely are enjoying the view of their "ideal backyard space" from their deck.

What do I see as I walk past in the spring each year? It looks a lot like the before picture (if August is the after picture). The undergrowth is back, big and strong.  You can't see the mulch they put down between trees because it is all covered with natural growth again. Most years, some of the pine trees they planted there are completely dead and they have to remove them before planting the new ones. They begin the process again. I am exhausted watching them each year.

As I was walking past this space with my puppy dogs last week, I couldn't help but wonder how and why they keep going back out there every year. It is obviously a difference of perspective. I see a natural wooded back yard that is lovely and is what it is. They see potential for a highly landscaped man-made space and are willing to work tirelessly to try to make it happen. I caught myself wondering why that bothered me so much. It just seems like a huge waste of time to try and make something (or someone) into something (or someone) they don't want to be (or were meant to be.) I pondered on the things and people in my life where I have wanted so badly for them to be something I wanted them to be that I basically ignored their nature.  I know there was a time in my life when I believed that if I wanted something for someone badly enough and worked hard enough, I could get them to want it or be it.  NOT TRUE!

Let me leave you with this quote, taken from a daily quotes calendar I had several years go. The quote was not attributed to anyone, but someone said it and I can relate ... I think it gets at the point I am trying to make this week!


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