When my family and I moved to our first house, one of the lessons I learned was about rotting roots.
We had a purple plum tree in the front yard. It was a beautiful tree with beautiful leaves. The tree was not old enough to produce fruit yet, but I couldn’t wait to see the fruit that it would produce. When we moved in, the sprinkler system was put in at the same time. We had nice grass put into the front yard where the tree was planted and where other flowers and bushes decorated the front yard. The sprinklers were set to water specific areas of the yard every day, and this was supposed to keep everything looking nice and green. We lived in a beautiful neighborhood, and we wanted to keep our yard beautiful, just like everyone else’s yards.
As the weeks and months passed, the purple plum tree started to lean, so I talked to the gardener, and he braced the tree with two big wooden stakes. We left the stakes there for months, but as soon as we would take away the stakes, the tree would lean even farther toward the ground. The tree was not dead, as it still had purple leaves on it, but it would not stand on its own. The gardener and I made the decision to replace the tree with another tree.
Rotting from Within
As we started to dig the tree up, we encountered the worst smell that can come across a nose. It smelled like rotten flesh, but it wasn’t, the smell came from the rotten roots of the tree. The ground was being over-watered, and even though everything looked fine above ground, the things that were deeply rooted were dying because they were drowning in water. I didn’t even know that was possible with certain trees and bushes, but it was. I had seen it with my own eyes and smelled it with my own nose.
This tree was doing everything it could to live, but it could not stand itself up with the roots rotting away because of the conditions of the soil it was living in.
I learned a couple of things from this happening to me:
1. Digging up something that has been rotting internally for long periods stinks. There is a lot of pain and suffering that goes into uprooting pains, wounds, and hurts of the past. It is not a pretty process, because to uproot something usually deals with bringing (digging) back up the hurt and pain again to get rid of it. As stinky as that tree was, we still had to go through the process of digging up the roots that were stuck in the muck of that ground. Oh, the smell! I thought there was a body buried there!
2. Becoming whole again in your thinking and in your life after a harsh period takes time. We could not plant another tree there in that part of the ground right away. We had to prepare the ground differently than we did before. We had to slow down watering that area of the soil and procure the right products that would help to get the soil healthy again.
We must give ourselves time to heal and get the help we need to become whole again. We have to do this, so we can become healthy and start again.