During the high winds of the storm, it’s four trunks split down the middle: two trunks crashing into the fence and two falling on newly installed garden beds.
I fought back tears and thought, “look at all this destruction”.
Then I had a second thought- “Well, that’s really dramatic wording Lynn. In reality, my family is safe. My animals are safe. My home is safe. I only feel so sad because I’m focusing on what I no longer have. How can I shift this story to look at what I DO have?”
Then, took it a step further and asked myself “How is this a gift?”
I took a deep breath and settled into this question.
What came to me is, this section of the garden which was once shady, is now full sun.
“My, my this is a gift indeed.”
But what do I do with all this tree?! How can I honor my Mulberry friend, who now lays in large pieces across my yard?
What instantly came to mind was a guiding principle of the man considered to be the father of the Permaculture movement. I could almost hear Bill Mollison say…
The problem is the solution
I sat and observed the space to see what all the problems were and how I could creatively come up with the solutions with this mess of branches in mind.
The end result made my heart happy once again and the space beautiful, productive, and inviting.
I used the large pieces to create the base of a Hügelkultur bed (a raised growing area that uses piles of plant matter as it’s foundation, which will slowly decay and continually feed the plants above).
I used the larger branches to make a tripod to hold pumpkins as they grow.
I used the medium branches and twigs to create a delicate trellis to showcase and support my sugar snap peas.
Above all else, this tree friend gets to continue to give beauty and nourishment to the place she spent her entire life.
If there is a place you feel stuck, ask yourself, “where is the solution hiding within this problem?” Or “how is this a gift?”
Sit in quite solitude and see what unfolds, you may be surprised at the creativity that arrises.
*Footnote: Bill Mollison gleaned some Permaculture foundations from observing the forest and others by learning from native communities. I want to pay homage to the earth based cultures who have been following these principles for countless generations before Mollison was born.
Permaculture can be defined as common sense solutions of design, for everything from agriculture to communities, that goes beyond sustainability and onto the more needed regeneration.