A Question Answered
by Peter L.
A few months ago, I attended a lecture on
caretaking. On my next trek in the bush, I decided to put some of the ideas I had learned
into practice. There was plenty of opportunity to remove fallen branches from new growth
trees on the forest floor. Easy to do, not too committing. Then I came across a small tree
that forced me to deal with a question I had not answered within myself. The tree was
about 1/2" round at the base, and bent over, almost touching the ground. This limb
was alive, but scraggly. About 1" from the base of the tree grew up a straight new
shoot. It was healthy and about 1/8" round. Do I cut the bigger limb off? Killing
something living to allow another living thing to flourish. Easy in theory, but do I do it
or not? I asked the tree. My heart told me what to do, but my logical mind did not believe
I followed my heart, and cut out the thicker
part of the tree. The remaining wound was dressed with dirt, and I moved on.
My logical mind tortured me as I walked on. Did
I do the right thing? Was I now playing God? I looked down, and came across a small branch
of another tree. I picked it up and examined it. The smaller branches appeared to have
been lopped off by some joker with a penknife! I was enraged with myself, as well as this
person. This was a sign to me, that what I had done was wrong. The anger and shame swelled
Then... I had a closer look at
the cuts. They had been the work of a porcupine, not a human. The anger and doubt flowed
from my body. It was alright that an animal had done this. This was clear in my mind and
heart. Was I not an animal as well? The Creator has created us as part of this world.
Those things within it, are for all creatures to use (not abuse).
So, this was a special day for me.
I had followed my instincts. There was no gain
or false motivation in my actions. My heart was pure, and my intent was good. I left the
woods that day feeling refreshed, and closer to the earth. My question had been answered.