A monument to lost causes and missed opportunities

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When Saffie the Wonderdog and I take our morning walk, we head out along the creek at the bottom of our street that leads to Blackburn Lake.

Along the way there’s a gum tree whose fortunes we have been following for the last few years. The tree fell on hard times. Literally. It began with a lean, which became increasingly serious.

Into the fray came whoever it is who looks after ailing trees. They built a system of supports to save our tree. But a new problem emerged. The tree was now so low to the ground that it was a danger to anyone walking, or cycling under it.

Imagine the headline in the local paper: Falling tree crushes mother, baby, and puppy dog!

Warning signs were erected either side of this danger to humanity.

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That was not enough to satisfy the public liability insurers, so in came the heavy machinery and excavated the pathway below our propped up, ailing tree. They brought in crushed rock and relaid the path so that mother, baby and puppy could pass safely.

Hundreds of dollars has been spent in the fight to save our tree. Meanwhile it continues to decline, and is all but dead.

Imagine, if instead, the tree had been allowed to fall, and then cut up for firewood. They could have planted hundreds of new trees with the money saved.

Here’s the lesson Saffie and I have been pondering . . . .

How many of us are wasting our lives on the worthy cause of propping up what needs to die, instead of planting for the future?