Every year our weeping cherry tree flowers into a glorious pink wonder outside our bedroom window. I took this picture today because although I have years of pictures of this tree, it’s new every time it blooms.

What you can’t see is that the tree is slowly dying. Some of the limbs are lifeless and breaking in each windstorm. I have spoken with Eric about it and want to cut out the dead wood, but it is a very large undertaking that ten years ago I would probably have done myself from a ladder. Well, maybe fifteen. So each year the glory is marred by the dead wood.

It bothers me because I love my little yard and fuss over it. In the picture you can see the perennials coming up, a spot of blue anemone in the lower left-hand corner, the tulips, rye grass and all sorts of plants that will reveal themselves as the year continues.

Like most things in this world, this tree is flawed. I can either hate it because there are ugly parts or love it for the beauty is bravely creates despite its aging. I’m not as decorative at any time, but I am aging despite the four times a week yoga, the almost vegan diet, the efforts to keep my mind going, the determination to make the most of what I have since this is the best it’s going to be.

There are lots of advantages to aging such as free “Silver Sneakers” at the gym and a lot of experience that tells me, “This too shall pass.” No one is exempt from trials, so I may as well enjoy all the good things in this lovely world despite the international and national strife, the lowering of standards of all kinds, the embarrassment of a tweeting president, the awareness of how sad Mother Earth must be to be so ravaged and mistreated.

We thought for a while that a pair of collared doves was going to nest in that flowering tree. They seemed to be looking it over. I saw the male bring the female a short twig which she took then dropped, evidently saying, “We can’t build a nest out of that!” No nest appeared. Since collared doves are targeted as invasive species, maybe I’m glad not to have to worry about them or about the ravens eating the hatchlings. No, I’d have loved to watch a nest even with its dangers. I remember in Bountiful pulling down a nest a pair of robins had started, knowing the tree was going to be cut down very soon, probably as soon as they had laid eggs.

I had foreknowledge. The robins were upset at my meanness. I have always hoped they found a good place to nest.  What happens if they don’t get the nest built soon enough?  I hope that the hormones that control nesting practices can arrange delivery after there’s a nest to lay eggs in.

This is not as meandering a path as it seems. I call my blog “The Yins and Yangs of Things.”  One good thing about aging is being more aware that life is about how we learn to react to its ups and downs, developing faith that it really will all work out for our good. Frost, quakes and winds will come, but we’ll be okay because we are flexible and determined. And the local grocery store just had its annual bulk grocery event so we can prepare for the future. PMA


Published by seedofgalaxies

I see complexities in everything and believe through experience that there is indeed "opposition in all things," or, in other words, yin and yang, that little symbol of white and black with an eye of each in the substance of the other represents life as I know it. So I write weekly essays about what I find. As a writer, I have published articles, poetry, and hymn texts. I have a couple of historical novels in the works. I wrote the texts to two hymns in the LDS Hymnbook, "Let the Holy Sprit Guide" and "With Songs of Praise." I'm an enthusiastic member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the wife of Gary L Allen, we have four children, three of whom have many children. A gardener, Cub Scout Den Leader, and conscientious exerciser, as body and resources allowed, I've walked, moved to group exercise to music, tap danced for a while, then loved yoga for about 25 years. I have been an English teacher at BYU. Gary and I spent a year (2004-5) in China teaching English at a Qingdao University. Later we spent 18 months in the Seattle area on a CES and proselyting mission. To retain my claim to be a writer, I write a weekly essay almost every Sunday. A companion publication with this blog is "Penny's Shards," a large number of very short short stories.

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