Last week my landlord came through with a gentleman and they explored the yard. I love this yard. It is filled with lots of fruit trees. We boast of at least six mango trees with about four different varieties, a breadfruit tree, coconut trees, a swibble sweet tree, beautiful palms and flowers.
Then she tells me they plan to cut down some of the trees. I struggle for a minute but it isn’t my property and also a few of the mango trees are sick. The man returns the following day with his workers and the cutting begins.
I think the children and I were heartbroken with every sound of the chain saw and the falling of limbs and watching piles of beautiful green leaves. One of my girls enjoyed a brief moment of glee when the saw wouldn’t start as they were about to take down a coconut tree. Eventually it did start and the tree was gone.
I had to step in one day and ask “but why are you cutting down the breadfruit tree? It wasn’t part of the deal.” He reassured me they were just cutting it back. Eventually the yard was covered in limbs and leaves. I know it was all for good reasons but it hurt.
Now, living here post trees there is no choice but to see things differently.
It feels more exposed. As if more people can see us and obviously the house is more visible. But guess what? We can see more too.
My view of the evening sunset was always obstructed by lots of trees, now they are gone and my view to the ocean is much clearer now. If we can only get all the power lines underground, every view on Montserrat would be priceless.
Why is this even worth a blog post? Because this is what change, success, growth, or a loss brings. A new view.
Its awkward and it has changed the perspective of how we see our home and how we perceive that others see us. It has also reminded me that choosing to be visible is part of the process of growing a business, taking on new leadership roles, starting a relationship. You are going to be more exposed, to the ones who will cheer for you and those who will look for every opportunity to tear you down.
The trick is not to resist the process. We could protest the loss of the trees but the truth is, ultimately it is for good. Trees need to be trimmed so they can be trained to grow in a different direction, or they may be hampering the growth of other trees or even compromising the foundation of the house.
In the same way, don’t resist growing your business by bringing in a partner or investing in a new course to improve your qualifications. Don’t be too concerned with what others may say and turn down a job promotion or new speaking opportunity. You declared you wanted success. Success comes with change and more people being able to see you.
We have a saying in the Caribbean, “the higher the monkey climb, the more his bottom expose.” We toss out these phrases to people who we perceive as being too ambitious or wanting to “pass their place.” We’re raised to deny our own desires for growth as if it were a bad thing. It isn’t. With more you can do more to help others.
In taking the time to meet the man in charge of the cutting, I learned a thing or two about the very trees I said I loved and got to taste something I never did before. The heart of a coconut. Sad that you can only get to it by cutting down the coconut tree but it is truly a lesson in life. Everything starts from the seed…the core. While I loved the yard, I did not always take the time to explore it. If I had, I would have seen that the coconut trees were also baring less than stellar fruit. I was just in love with all the green and wasn’t looking further to see the yard the way the owner and a professional would. He told me of the plans for redesigning and landscaping the yard and the new trees which will be put down instead. It will go from a random collection of trees in the backyard to a beautifully framed property of fruit trees. This could only happen if the cutting was done.
Now with new information, I can enjoy the view. A new view gives me more space to see to the horizon and dream new dreams. Being more visible means I have the ability to influence others and share the things that I am passionate about. I can no longer peak through the world from the comfort of all the trees around me. I am exposed for all to see. It is time to enjoy the new view.