Author Steven Lake

Life Lesson: The Tree and the Drain
Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 7:09pm
Keywords: Tree, Drain, Life Lesson, Parable, Learning Experience, Don't Jump To Conclusions, Patience, Truth

Here's an educational life lesson for all of you to consider when it comes to events in our lives, and leaping to conclusions far too soon.  Anyhow, this is the backstory.  There used to be this amazing, beautiful Willow that sat on our property right at the base of a sluice drain.  That drain emptied a large amount of parking area into our community pond.  Well, interesting factoid, we've had two huge rain events, one of which was multi-day, and one which was a single 4+ hour rain event, both of which dumped 3-5" of water on our property.  This caused the pond to overflow, which flooded some cars, and caused all kinda havoc.  This was reported to the drain commissioner who sent out inspectors to have a look.  They did, and then told the landlord to just wait for it to drain down due to the sheer volume of water.

Fast forward several weeks.  I went out walking one afternoon and noticed that someone had cut down that favorite Willow, leaving just six decapitated stumps.  Man, about half the complex was up in arms about that.  I mean, we were livid with the drain commissioner for cutting down a favorite tree on the property with no rhyme or reason why.  I mean, from first looks, there was no evidence that it was doing any harm other than to be directly at the end of the drain sluice.  Fast forward to today.  I'm out walking again, as I do every day, and what do I see as I'm walking?  The stumps from that tree were ripped out, and cast to the side, and orange safety fencing was around the area where the stumps had been.  I was even more livid this time.  The drain commission had just added insult to injury.

However, when I came up to where they'd ripped out the stumps, expecting to find a couple craters where the roots and stumps had been, instead I find this massive, and I mean massive, like big enough to stick a car in, drain opening sitting there.  I didn't even know that was there, and there was no way to tell it'd been there.  Literally, the tree had completely covered it over, blocking the majority of water that would otherwise be safely drained away by this drain, preventing the flooding we'd seen.  Immediately, upon seeing this, all my anger, all my rage, all my emotional injury at seeing that favorite tree cut down, and its roots ripped out of the ground just melted away.  Like, it just immediately went away, and was replaced with gratitude, and agreement with what the drain commissioner had done.  Admittedly that drain pit needs some work, as the tree kinda tore up the sides to the pit, and ripping it out caused the metal safety cage on top to get torn away too (which did part of the damage).

Now, once they get that completely rebuilt, and a new cage on it, then our pond, and parking lot, will not only drain properly, but nobody else will get flooded cars, flooded apartments, etc.  So what started out as a grievous insult, and an injury, once the truth was revealed, became necessary, but a vast improvement.  Yes, we're gonna miss that amazing tree.  But, if I had a choice between keeping the tree, and seeing people flooded out, or losing the tree, and seeing cars, bikes, apartments, etc saved from the next big rain event, I'm happy to see the tree go.  It's bittersweet, but it was necessary.  In the end, I gained an important lesson.  Don't judge someone, or something, until you have ALL the facts.  And, we must always remember that the truth doesn't always appear right away either.

So my failure in this, as I suspect is true of a lot of others here, is jumping to conclusions and getting mad over something that was meant to help us.  It was just a little bit of temporary pain, for a lot of long term gain.  So, in the future, when you see something that looks wrong, dig into it, research it, find the truth, and only then, after you've done all your homework, make your decision.  Don't fly off the handle and get mad on the spot.  Find out WHY something is like it is, and then, and ONLY THEN, make your decision to be happy, sad, mad, or otherwise. :)

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