The worst part about the cutting down of these 6 magnificent trees next to my house isn’t the loss of privacy (tho, yikes!) or the memories of my son climbing so high my heart skipped many beats until he found safe ground. The worst part is that gorgeous bird soaring and circling above watching our landscape change, inviting a certain shared empathy. Change exposes us, strips away our comfort. It forces us to find new trees to nest in and new ways of looking at the view. No more listening to the nesting owl in the middle of the night, or falling acorns misinterpreted as burglars, or rogue squirrels who misstep and tumble down the dryer chute like Alice in Wonderland.

Our foundation is always shifting (the talk for years of these trees dying), but we’re still blindsided when changes take place. We like the old view, the old job, the old relationship even if it’s rumored to be unhealthy. It’s familiar, and there is some kind of comfort in the same scene. But do we – as Neale Donald Walshe says “Move forward with no second guessing, no guilt trips and no hesitation” – simply hack the old trees down? Or do we trim the dead away, fertilize, and encourage new growth working with what’s still alive there?

Every relationship is different. If the structure is in fact dying and no longer serves us, then let it be uprooted. Sometimes we need to be thrown off the boat or out of the nest to find new ground and land in a new safe haven. But if there is still some honest life left, maybe we stay and nurture and tend to it for a while longer until we know for sure.