My mom and I purchased 83+ acres of land back in 1998. I was 27 years old. I had no idea what to do with it; I just figured that one day I would build on it and be all happy and content. Little did I know it would become an 83 acre albatross hanging around my neck.
Now many of you, I am sure, could think of ALL KINDS of things you would do with over 83 acres of land. And, knowing that I am an herbalist and all in love with Mother Earth, I’m sure you are confused as to why I would be so negative about this awesome acreage that I call my own. Five years ago, I decided to disconnect myself from this land, and my mom and I and tried to sell it. I became ambivalent toward the land, what happened to it, what could be done with it, etc. For the sake of keeping our personal issues personal, I will simply say that, in many ways, I couldn’t call this place my home. Until I decided to take it back. Claim it. Own it. I have officially dedicated myself to falling in love with it.
After much pain and indecision, I came to the conclusion that this land was mine for a reason. I am her caretaker and I have a responsibility to preserve and love this place. This 83 acres is calling me into her service.
When I purchased this land, I noticed that I had many saplings that were growing too closely together; I kept thinking that I would have them thinned out one day. That was almost 14 years ago. Do you know what happens to trees that grow too closely together for too long? Besides possibly dying out, they also tend to stop growing. Completely. Period. They can remain stagnant indefinitely until they die out completely. I realized that I needed to make a very hard decision. To cut or not to cut. Do I leave it alone and let it die out? Do I have timber cut in areas and hope for some evidence of growth in 3 to 5 years? Do I clear cut and start over? I hated the thought of cutting down one tree… much less up to a third of my timber.
Last month I made the decision to cut some timber. Yes, it looks awful. Yes, I cried some. But not only was that cutting needed, but it also was a very visual reminder of the cycle of life. Birth. Life. Death. New life. This is phase one of my re wilding and renewal project.
And, since this land seems to be a beautiful reflection of myself, this is also phase one of my personal re wilding and renewal project. Just like my land, I am a little frayed and torn around the edges, and my limbs feel slightly bruised and bent. But I am surrounded by love and support, and I know that being rebirthed is on the horizon. For both of us.