…. light the corners of my mind

9 09 2012

There is a great story about the trees Ed planted in the front of our home. When we had this house built, we took down all the scrub pines around our property. They were scraggly and when they grew tall, the hurricanes either up rooted them or blew them down. The constant dropping of pine needles and pine cones were a nuisance to clean up. Ed decided to replace the ones in front with some nice, thick evergreen shrubs. He assured me they would grow to about 5 feet when they matured. We liked the idea of having two 5 foot Christmas trees to put lights on during the Holidays. The first year, the shrubs were kind of spindly looking so we decorated with one set of lights on each tree. I say we, but Ed really did all the work. I say “work” because my husband was gifted in many areas but handyman work was not one of his areas. And so it was work to him but he did enjoy the fruits of his labor. Every night, he would turn on the lights and remark on how they made him feel the joy of Christmas.

By the third year we were adding strings of lights and using a ladder to get them around the top. I was out there helping Ed and the Christmas lights became a family chore. I say chore because….. well, you know how it goes. But, we still got much joy each time he lit the trees.

What we never bargained on was the fact that these shrubs were going to keep growing every year until we could no longer get anywhere near the top. I don’t know which year it was that Ed couldn’t even get the lights off the trees and so, in utter exasperation, he decided to just leave them there and we never plugged the lights in again.

twenty years later:

this is how big our two shrubs have grown!!!

Today, I noticed that a lot of the inside branches are dead. I have no idea what to do about it. I am hoping that it doesn’t mean that the trees are diseased and are going to fall on my house sometime soon. I could feel the anxiety beginning to rise in me as I pondered what to do. And as I peered into the tree, i saw something that made me chuckle.

If you look close at the middle of the bare spot, you can see the green cord with evenly spaced, small, white bulbs hanging off it. That old string of Christmas lights conjured up the memory of my love, out front one day, wrestling with an evergreen tree until he finally gave up and let the tree keep her captured treasure.

When I am gone and this home becomes someone else’s, I hope they laugh when they find the string of Christmas lights strung on the inside of their giant trees. Maybe they will be inspired to make up there own Christmas story of how the lights got there.



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