Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Root of the Problem

I'm happy to begin today by reporting the Doodlebug is recovering nicely. She even felt up for a gator ride to help fix pipes today. However, she crashed in the back while we worked. Looks cozy, huh? A nice nap, under the shade of a beautiful pecan tree, with a nice breeze blowing... excuse me... zzzzzzzzz. Uh-hmm... where was I? Right. Pipes. The saddest thing we do in the orchard is fix broken pipes. Not simple stopped up sprinkler fixin'. Not "oops I ran over a pipe and broke it" fixin'. Deep down in the ground fixin'. Sad, you ask? Yes. It's sad. Let me explain.
Each tree has a sprinkler to give it food and water. No need to get up and go to the kitchen. No preheating the oven. No dishes to clean after a meal. Nothing. Mama takes care of it. Water and food. Right here, baby. And what does the tree do? Breaks the hand that feeds it. Literally. The roots often grow right where the pipes are going. And since there is only room for one, the tree selfishly breaks the pipe to make bigger roots. I wish someone would explain this to the tree. Here is what we then have to do to fix the problem...
Chop! Chop! Chop! Ouch! The root must come out. This makes me sad. I haven't removed a root yet that I didn't stop and apologize to the tree. I imagine it took a lot of energy to grow a root that big. It's a good thing. A root. Collecting lots of water and nutrients for the tree. And here I come, chopping it out. If only it would have taken a different direction. Seriously. It's not like the tree is blindly growing in the dirt.
It feels the pipe is there. Grows around it even. I wish someone would just tell it to detour at the pipe. Then everyone could be happy. Tree keeps root... happy. Mama doesn't have to cut out major piece of root... happy. Pipes left intact. Good.
There is a little joy found in the chopping of the roots...
Leave it to a 7 year old boy to remind us of the joys of digging in the dirt.

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