Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 2 The Volunteer Mimosa

The window directly next to my bed faces our neighbor's house. I usually sleep with the wooden blinds closed, opening them to let in the morning light. Recently I've been keeping both the blinds and the window open to celebrate my new friend, the Mimosa tree. The volunteer Mimosa tree.

The sliver of land between our house and the neighbor's house is only about twelve feet. We have a raised planter box along the wall next to our house. We garden in these boxes, although we aren't always attentive gardeners. The box below this window has been tended sporadically by Ron's sister, Joan. Two years ago we noticed a tiny Mimosa tree that had sprung up on its own. It was a happy little plant and both Joan and I remarked that we "should pull it out before it gets too big." Well, we never did and now, two years later, the tree is over twenty five feet tall. This is a second story window, by the way. And, as you can see from this photo it is a healthy, happy tree. Today we have high winds and rain, so our Mimosa friend sways and tosses itself. The trunk is extremely flexible and dances in the wind seemingly unstressed by the violent gusts of spring wind.

This tree made me think about the "volunteer" attributes/things of our lives that appear. I did not plant this tree. I contributed nothing to nourish it. Nature was at work "doing its thing" and this tree grew and grew. Now it stands outside my window to delight me and to provide a reminder of nature in the narrow corridor between properties.

How much of our lives are served by "volunteers"? I marvel at the tenacity of plants, weeds especially, as they break through a sidewalk to reach toward the sun. We try to control so much of life, forgetting that life may have its own ideas of what is needed, of what will grow well in a given spot.

Thank you, Mimosa tree, for your labor in growing tall outside my window.


  1. Patricia, I like your creative use of the word "volunteer." Many of the solutions to the world's modern crises will emerge organically, without a lot of external constructs or oversight. I have been wondering how to be nurtured in my own efforts at exploring what my future will be like. Your mimosa tree is a good reminder to look for the simplest and most opportunistic conditions for growth.

  2. Lovely......well done, well noticed, well appreciated.

  3. Dear P. Funk,
    I think you have something profound in your response. Clearly there is a difference in being passive and being in respectful of natural solutions. I'm glad my metaphor struck a cord. Do you have a blog?

  4. Dearest Patricia,

    Yes, I completely agree. Opportunism has more intentionality than passivity. Perhaps when we volunteer to grow in this natural way, we lean in or attune ourselves to receive what is there, and springboard from there to the next offering, and so on. I am liking this train of thought.

    In sledding, gravity is making most of the decisions for us. In downhill skiing, we're continually scanning and adjusting our positioning to meet the optimum lines. In this metaphorical landscape, I suppose snowmobiling would be our will/ego carving paths in its own image.

    Each method has its advantages and drawbacks. The snowmobile approach is intellectual, it gets things done, it's tied to past experience and predictable outcomes. Sledding, well, sometimes we just need to coast for awhile. The skiing approach is more like a sacred dialogue. Improv in its highest form.

    Moving in a more organic and receptive way brings forth different, more expansive opportunities. It creates openings into the unknown and unexpected, and leads to greater self-discovery. That's the positioning I want as I move into this next phase of (re)defining my life. :)

    And just so I don't leave you in suspense any longer, I'm Patricia C from Doe Bay! Many new thoughts are brewing, but I don't have a blog... yet. Thank you for sharing and letting me play along.