Here’s a tale from Stories for a Man’s Heart to inspire and guide us:
“The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day n the job A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.
“While I drove him home he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of its branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
“Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. ‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied. ‘I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure. Troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come up. Then in the morning I pick them up again.
“’Funny thing is,’ he smiled, ‘when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.’”
What a gift the unknown author of this little story has given us!
I actually have a tree like this in my children’s novel called “The Tree of Sighs.” There’s a basket hanging from a lower branch and every day before they enter their home, my little heroine and her guardian drop stones in it, leaving their sorrows outside their doorstep.
Reading today’s story made me think how wonderful it would be if we each had a “Trouble Tree” of “Tree of Sighs” of our own devising just outside our work space, where ever it is. Then each day before a writing session, we could leave our troubles outside and come to the page fresh. A great way to start a new writing year. Let’s try it and see what happens. Bravo, Author Unknown. Write on!