Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Morning: Goodbye to the Mimosa Tree

Once HOB and I went to San Francisco to visit some older cousins. (They were around 71 years old at the time.) They wanted to take a tour of the Mormon Tabernacle in Oakland, so we went along. The tour guide took us around the building, speaking with great pride of the architecture, their traditions, and throwing in a healthy dose of Mormon history--selected history of course--but still history. We went outside and the docent proudly pointed out the olive trees at each corner of the massive building. "The olive tree is the tree of life and so we plant one at each of the four corners of the building symbolizing our beliefs." Someone in the tour group examined the tree closely and said, "It's the time of year these trees should be producing fruit. Where are the olives?" "Oh," replied the docent, "They make an awful mess on the sidewalks. We spray 'em so they don't produce any olives.

I remember how that remark tainted the entire tour (well, that remark and how later the same docent talked about how the women of the faith had "special" roles including making quilts for the poor. We viewed an exceptionally gorgeous one and I thought how some disadvantaged family would receive it, find warmth beneath it, and keep it as a family heirloom. I pointed the quilt out and commented how beautiful it was. The docent said with great pride, "Oh, yes. That one is going to Meadowlark Lemon.")

Well, I must admit the tree story is coming back to me this morning as we await the man who will cut down our lovely mimosa tree in the back yard. The gardener we called in for a consult said, "It's a good tree, but not for this space." The mimosa is beautiful at this time of year, but (and I feel old and pruney for saying this) it makes a mess in the yard nearly year-round. (I did research on the Internet and found entire communities there whose sole reason for existing is to express their hatred for this tree.)

The gardener who came over to survey the situation pointed out that the mimosa tree is keeping sunlight from the lemon tree, causing the lemon tree to get sickly. That made me feel a bit better.

Still, when we bought this house about fourteen years ago, the sweet couple we bought it from led us out back and showed us this tree, telling us they had brought the seed for it with them from New York and planted it here.

To make matters worse, Sonny Boy, who loves this tree, and whose love for it delayed this action for about six years, is home from college. As some of you may recall, he goes to school in Santa Cruz where many people sit in trees for the better part of their lives, devoting themselves to saving the aged creatures. I went out this morning and checked the branches carefully to make sure he was not up in them. He is not. The special medication I slipped into his smoothie last night seems to have made him very, very sleepy....

I took these pictures yesterday and thanked the tree for its service to our family. It gave us shade, and beauty and even provided a space for a treehouse.

I will be inside as it comes down, listening to the saws, convincing myself we are doing the right thing, hoping for the procedure to be over rapidly, but also feeling a little like a olive tree-spraying Mormon.


Happy Homemaker said...

Don't worry, Betty. You're doing the right thing! I'm glad you took pictures of its beauty. Great photos!

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks, Happy!


Unknown said...

My neighbor had to cut down his olive tree recently. It was very large and he had to get an olive tree spraying company out very often. He misses that tree because it provided a lot of shade for his backyard as well as ours!

Unknown said...

thank for sharing.

Anonymous said...

We should love the nature and spread this message. There is need to grow more trees. In the there is massive motivation for this.