Do Something New: An Unexpected Weekend among the Trees

Photo by Edward Leger 

Remember my vow to “do something new today”? I’m not able to do something new every day, of course, or even to find the time to figure out something new to do, but I have been leaving myself open to new adventures whenever they might crop up. I did this on my last trip to Georgia to the farm, and no sooner was I there, walking along the old ponds and oaks in the surreal late-day sun, but an opportunity to “do something new” came along.

For the next few hours, my older brother, my daughter Shannon, and I planted river cypresses in the wetland area of the farm while my younger daughter kept her grandmother company back at the house. I learned tons of new info from my forester brother–how to plant cypresses correctly, how to keep from getting blisters, how to twirl the little tree so the roots are propertly placed in the hole. It was hard work, but it was a blast!

The cypress has an emotional, water element to it. It’s supposed to represent people born January 25 to February 3. I’ve read that it’s strong and muscular, and that it represents the passionate lover that cannot be satisfied. I’ve also read that it can suppress evil, but I most prefer the passionate lover idea. In any case, I look forward to watching these cypresses grow and flourish in the coming years and knowing that my daughters will remember the day they were planted.

For all the elbow grease we put into planting 80 trees before sunset, there was a lot of levity. My favorite moment is still when Shannon found some type of seeds in swamp water where she digging. She was calf-deep in water and slimy, sucking mud at the time.

Shannon: Hey, I just found some kind of really strange eggs over here in the swamp water….

Me: That’s usually the last thing said in a horror movie just before all hell breaks loose….