Baby Juniper Trees

Baby juniper tree

One of many baby juniper trees in my yard

This is the time of year when the two juniper trees in my front yard spin off lots of baby juniper trees. I love juniper trees, but two of them are the limit for my front yard, which also contains banana yuccas, a spruce tree and quite a few flowers.

When I find the tiny sprouts, I have to pull them up. They each have one long skinny root that’s two or three times longer than the sprout. I wish I could keep them all, but it would make no sense to have a forest of junipers in my yard.

It reminds me of the time when I was 10 years old and decided to collect pieces of pretty broken dishes I found along dirt roads and trails not far from my house. Each piece looked so gorgeous. Some had colorful flowers on them. Others had the hint of a design. I saved them in glass jars. The jars came from a local grocery store back in the 1950s. They once had contained fruit, olives, coffee or other delicious food.

I must have had 20 jars filled with pretty pieces of broken dishes lined up along the side of my bed when my mother intervened. My collection was too much of a good thing, and I had to get rid of it.

Reluctantly, I emptied the jars of broken dishes into the trash. Now, I wonder what archaeologists might think if they came across that garbage container full of broken dishes. Would they call it a trash dump, the remains of a sacred ritual, a burial mound containing the favorite things of someone who died?

Even as a 10-year-old, I knew my collection was getting out of hand. But the broken dishes were so beautiful! It was hard to leave them on the ground when I could save them and enjoy looking at them. As upset with my mother as I was back then, I knew she was right. If she hadn’t put an end to my collecting, I might have had so many jars filled with broken dishes that I wouldn’t have been able to reach my bed!

It’s like that with baby juniper trees too. There are too many of them. They’re growing in a place where there’s no room for any more trees. I have to pull them up even though I think they’re beautiful. That’s just the way life is.

I still remember my beautiful fragments of broken dishes. And I will remember the baby juniper trees I’ve had to pull up. In the end, we make room in our lives for what makes sense to keep, given the space we have available. And that’s probably a very good thing.

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