Tree planting is completely paradoxical. On one hand, a tree planter must be willing to completely surrender. We surrender to the relentless schedule, the weather, the land, the work, the bugs and the wear and tear on our bodies. And yet at the same time, we are in constant motion. Walking, planting, shoveling, preparing the best we can to make our surrender all the more bearable. Tree planting is hard work but there is a constant flow, a liturgy of movement that orchestrates each day. We wake, dress, eat. We pack our stuff and we head to the trucks. We ride together out to the block. We share dread as the truck slows and we know we’ve reached our land. We pack our bags to the brim with trees, knowing that this is the first of many “bag ups” for the day. We screef, shovel, plant, stomp again and again. We drink water and take off our sweaters. We wipe sweat and swear when the prickly bushes rub against our legs and hands. We get in the truck and drive home. Happy the day is done, talking about what dinner will be. We feast. We talk about how good the food is and how happy we are to be dry and warm. We laugh and wash dishes and fill our water jugs. And we do it all again.
Constant letting go…of expectations, what-ifs, pain, self-doubt and the day. It will be what it will be. This is my fourth season of planting and by far the most “out of my head” that I’ve been (in the best way possible). On good days we’ll make a lot of money, on bad days we’ll just plant trees and make some money and when needed we’ll make adjustments (by singing Disney, Celine Dion, Spice Girls, etc) and no matter what, at the end of the day, we get back in the truck and head back to camp for dinner. It’s simple.
Today is a day off and we’ve had a good diner breakfast and finished all our laundry (matt put my 2 wool sweaters in the dryer so we’ll be stopping at Value Village so I don’t have to wear tiny sweaters). We’re heading back to camp at 6 pm to start the whole process again and it’s good. It’s all good.