I have a massive old California oak tree in my front yard. My arborist and his crew were working nearby and stopped by to check the tree. It needed shaping, balancing and trimming away the debris. 

    In nature it wouldn’t matter how this great oak tree grew, but sharing space with my home, I need to have it trimmed and shaped in order for me to keep it from dropping branches on my roof or the roof of my neighbor and to clear away the debris that died out and is still clinging.

    I thought this an appropriate metaphor for the coming New Year — this being the last day of 2014 and a wonderful way of welcoming in 2015 with infinite possibilities after clearing away all the old. Much of what we seem to do with our lives in preparation for the New Year or what all the New Year Resolutions are about.

    I do love that old tree. It was here before the house was built. In the olden days, women would protest by chaining themselves to the trunk of the tree to keep the contractors from cutting them down. This one in my front yard was saved. One down the street recently died due to lack of care with the lack of water and the owner not caring enough to give it proper nutrition and water. 

    I suppose when I bought the house, this tree was put in my care. It’s important for me to take this responsibility seriously and to do what I can to nurture it to grow abundantly long after I’m gone and forgotten.

    The estimates on the age of this tree range from 150 to 200 years. I do wonder. 

    Well, we’re celebrating another New Year. This one we’ll ring in with it being fully trimmed and cleaned up. It brings gladness to my heart to take away some of the weight from the mighty branches and allow her to stand tall and majestically for all to see. With the wind and the cold we’re experiencing out of Canada today, I’m wondering if my arborist heard her cry for help. It may seem strange, but she is a living tree. And all living things needs care and nurturing. She provides shade for me . . . the least I can do for her is to trim her and to take some of her burden away for the New Year.

    May your burdens be cast away this last day of December, 2014 to bring in 2015 will joy and love, hope and prosperity.

    Happy 2015!!