Zen — Sunshine

The room faced north, and was dreary despite three open-curtained windows. Trimming overgrown shrubbery let in a bit of sunshine. Clippers applied to thick overarching branches helped, too. Yet gloom persisted, even mid-day. Then—a tree crew, with chainsaws. The scent of wood chips, the sound of logs thudding to the ground. And light. Streaming, uninterrupted, cheerful, darkness-banishing light. What’s casting…

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The Accomplishments of Trees

Image Source: public-domain-image.com Sometimes on summer evenings I step Out of my house to look at trees Propping darkness up to the silence. ~A Final Affection by Paul Zimmer As branches thudded to the ground, the arborist said, “It’s beginning to look like a tree.” Of course, it was always a tree, so it always had looked like one, but…

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Journeys

Photo source: www.publicdomainpictures.net There’s an acorn lying on the desk beneath the computer monitor, beside the mother-of-pearl souvenir mug from a trip to Washington DC. The acorn is perfectly shaped, green and smooth, topped by a rough tan cap punctuated with a short wood pom-pom. There’s nothing unusual about it; it’s typical squirrel food, free for the finding, one of…

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Pruning the Self-Absorption

Image source: openclipart.org The lantana grew unruly over the last few weeks of summer. Sunshine-colored blossoms and long-armed branches of spiky leaves choked out the amaryllis and were on the verge of a hostile take-over of the garden. The gardener arrived, pruners in hand, and set to work. Halfway through the trimming session, a single swallowtail butterfly, delicate yet hardy…

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Teamwork

Image source: openclipart.org Tax simplification is the topic of the day once again. Senate finance committee members are holding meetings with experts to listen to and weigh proposals for reducing complexity in the US tax code. At the same time, other senators and congressmen continue to propose amendments to the existing code. A check of GovTrack shows four bills introduced…

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Form and Function

Image source: openclipart.org The trio of nature pictures hanging on the wall features a horse, a bear cub and a fox. Each animal faces the camera, ears forward. Each set of ears–curved, rounded, pointy–provides the same useful benefit, yet each is unique. Solutions take many shapes. Do you consider both form and function when seeking an answer? *** Other posts…

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Leverage

image source: www.wpclipart.com The matching pair of 30-foot cedars, one on each side of the drive, had been the height of landscaping beauty when small. Now they blocked the view of the road, and made leaving the drive dangerous. Even die-hard tree lovers admitted they had to go. A thick chain, wrapped around the tree trunk and hitched to a…

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Full of Beans

Image source: www.totallyfreeimages.com The green bean plants sprawl across the garden, the thick canopy of leaves protecting the roots and the edible pods. In the abundance of greenery, it’s easy to miss the pods when you’re out there picking a mess of beans for dinner. They hide in plain sight, invisible–at least to you–until someone else points them out. Then…

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Measuring Productivity

Image source http://openclipart.org The UPS driver no longer rings the bell in our neighborhood. Instead, you hear the roar of a heavy engine and you open the door in time to see the brown delivery truck as it pulls away in a puff of diesel. If the driver spots you, you might get a wave as you retrieve your package…

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A Different Point of View

Image source: www.wpclipart.com “Trick or treat.” The small costumed beggar opened his candy bag as he uttered the familiar refrain. “Let’s do a treat,” the candy giver said. The beggar’s mother clapped her hands. “Isn’t that nice?” she asked him. “She’s going to treat you instead of tricking you.” “Thanks,” said the boy, and the two of them walked away,…

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