Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas trees

Every morning I wake up about 6:30 a.m. (or try to) and drive about 70 miles down the length of the state of New Jersey to go to work. This takes me about an hour and 15 minutes on a typical day, or two hours on a bad day. The first 45 minutes is all highways and tollways, and the last 30 minutes are the best because I take back roads through rural farmland around Princeton Junction, which is so beautiful this time of year.

I’ve been driving the same route more or less for about two months now, and along one stretch of two-lane road I pass a Christmas tree farm. When I first passed it, I didn’t take much notice because the trees were small and unrecognizable, but in the past month they have grown up to take the familiar triangular shape. I’ve never seen a Christmas tree farm, so it’s been quite delightful to watch them grow day by day, and I’ve enjoyed saying hello as I pass by.

As some of you know, I tend to employ personification on a lot of things in my daily life – my minivan (Yoshi), my stuffed friends (Oz and my other cubs and pups); even some of my pillows have names. Being alone a lot, I tend to live inside my head and it helps to have an excuse to talk aloud. But seeing this field of trees each day, sometimes I realize that very soon now, many of them will be cut down and taken away and I will be sad to see them go.

It’s a small thing really, but it also reminds me that just because I know something is not going to last forever doesn’t mean I shouldn’t let myself enjoy it or become attached to it, knowing I will miss it someday. I’d rather be hurt than live my life avoiding the possibility of being hurt. Living in the moment is not without risk, but life is a finite and non-renewable resource that must be fully consumed each and every day, or it is lost forever.