When I was growing up in the 60's there was a practice known as "tree-hugging". Typically used today as a derogatory term for a particular brand of radical environmentalists, few may realize that it was actually something people did to get in touch with nature. Oddly enough I remember my father of all people having quite a relationship with the huge oak tree in our front yard. He tried all the trees in the yard, but he connected best with that particular tree.
Perhaps this is where I subconsciously developed a notion that relationships were somewhat like living things such as plants or trees. I envisioned that important relationships could be symbolized by strong and healthy trees - disease, drought and storm resistant, capable of providing habitat for many small creatures. Over time, I expected to have a forest of sorts, with a high canopy of varied species, capable of providing shade but also allowing a filtered light to fall to the forest floor, where a richly foliated understory grew ferns, smaller flowering trees and wildflowers at the forest edge.
One should not be surprised that noxious weeds and other exotic invasives could infiltrate the forest if careful attention to detail and regular maintenance is not performed. This can be done by the Vine Vigilante through meticulous gardening or a generous but carefully applied dose of Round-Up. Even the most pleasant flowering shrubs and wildflowers need to be dead-headed once in a while to keep them healthy. But there is no need for napalm.
Today I will continue to do some weeding but also take the time to watch the boughs sway in the breeze, relishing the filtered light shining through the canopy.