My Pond

Mother Nature and I rarely disagree.

While she may prefers things one way and I prefer them another, most of our disagreements are minor.

Not so with my pond.

Let’s just say, we do not share the same vision.

Her concept is to ring the shore with a curtain of bulrushes and hide that behind an impenetrable barricade of willows.

While I have nothing against bulrushes nor willows, I see them more as accents, not something that should be painted with a broad brush.

As for water, she would cover it with a shroud of green scum then choke the life out of everything beneath with milfoil.

I would rather it be a mirror for the sky and a medium for fish or a surface upon which ducks cut wakes and dragon flies dance.

But for years, she has gotten her way.

As a result my pond has become fetid swamp, a thing so repulsive that the bullfrogs have taken refuge on my lawn.

So how did it all come to be?

Blame the nature of relationships and love.

In every relationship, be it marriage or that between man and nature, there is compromise. We give up something to get something else.

Sometimes it is easy because what we gain is worth so much more than what we give up. Other times it is harder.   We are forced to give up what we truly value but we do it because in the end, we are better off.

But the greatest demand any relationship can ask is to give up who we are.

This demands the greatest love.

Everyone has visions for the world and we all want to leave our mark. This is, in the deepest sense, what it is to be and the greatest sacrifice of all is to give up our dreams.

But that is a risky thing. Asking one to surrender their dreams is to risk turning love into bitterness.

And bitterness best describes what Mother Nature has done to my pond.

It is as if she has given up so much around here to farming and to roads and to towns and cities that she is no longer capable of dreaming healthy dreams.

So it is best that we start over.

Last fall I cut down the willows and trimmed back the bullrushes. I treated the milfoil and the pond scum with a harsh dose of copper-sulfate.

I also ordered a truck load of rock with which to line a stretch of shore.  I will then  plant wild rice in the shallows and disperse water-lillies in the channels.

Then Mother Nature can do what she does best.

Yesterday, the dump truck arrived with the rock.  I ordered it in winter so the wheels could roll over the frozen ground without damaging the soil.

While working out the placement of the load, I got into a tiff with the driver. He is a local guy with a pond all his own and he has ideas of what I should do with mine.

Let’s just say, we do not share the same vision.

As we bickered, my wife came running across the snow.

“Rocks!” she cried, “I have all kinds of ideas of where they should go.”