Behind the fence that encloses our backyard is a bit of forgotten forest-looking land that also happens to be our property. When we moved here, we worked for days to try to clear some of the vines that had not been touched for who knows how long. It was an exhausting job those days, and through the years we deemed it pointless to keep working on it. What was removed always seemed to come back with a vengeance.
A neighbor recently shared that this is a Wisteria invasion, and it is killing our trees. Wisteria is the sneakiest of sneaks. Really. In the spring there are pretty purple blooms that smell wonderful. But then velvety green pods pop open, tossing the poisonous seeds everywhere (last year we could literally hear the tap-tap-tapping as they fell onto our roof, our back door and our tiny patio. The noise drove our dogs crazy. They’d go to the window and look around, ears perked up on high-alert, but they never found the culprit.
The sneaky, climbing Wisteria vines grow and spread quickly, wrapping around anything and everything stationary in its path. Before long, the vines grow fat and squeeze the life out of trees, I guess, a lot like a boa constrictor does its work. Several smaller trees have actually fallen over because of it, and some of the tallest ones look as if they are leaning over but are actually being held up by the vines.
To get rid of Wisteria, you have to cut as closely to the ground as possible and practice maintaining it for years or the entire growth process begins again.
This made me think about those seemingly positive things we do that eventually make us feel trapped in one place with the life squeezed out of us. Are we living purposeful lives that we love or sacrificing ourselves to make everyone else happy?
Working in a helping profession, I strive to take care of me every, single day. A lot of times, I feel like I am less than stellar at it–I don’t work out as much I as should, I don’t keep my house as clean as I’d like, I can’t get to bed on time, blah-dee, blah, blah, blah.
However, I AM starting my day everyday thanking God for all He’s blessed me with and doing in my life. And that makes all the difference. This is my daily maintenance. Whether or not I mark off all the bullets on my to-do list, this time helps me to stay focused on the truly important things. I notice more peace and less of a desire to control everything and everyone around me.
And the Wisteria? Well, the work began over the weekend, and it just might take (what feels like) a lifetime of cutting back and clearing out to make room for new growth.