Mother Nature and I rarely disagree.
While she prefers things one way and I prefer them another, most of our disagreements are minor.
Not so with my pond.
Let’s just say that on that subject we do not share the same vision.
Her concept is to ring the shore with bulrushes and hide them behind a barrier of willows. Though I have nothing against bulrushes nor willows, I see them more as accents, not something to 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, a medium for fish and 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 a fetid swamp, a thing so repulsive that even the bullfrogs have taken refuge on my lawn.
So how did it all come to be?
Blame it on the nature of relationships.
In every relationship, be it marriage or that between man and nature, there is compromise. We give up something to get something.
Sometimes it is easy, especially when we gain more than we give. Other times it is not easy because we are forced to give up what we truly value. Still we do it because in the end, we are better off.
But the greatest demand of all comes when we are asked to give up who we are. It requires the greatest love and involves the greatest risk.
We all have dreams of what we want out of life. In the deepest sense, this is what it is to be and being asked to surrender our dream is to risk turning love into bitterness.
And bitterness best describes what Mother Nature has done to my pond.
It is as if by giving up so much around here to farming and roads and towns and cities that Mother Nature 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 bulrushes. 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-lilies 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 tires would 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 his own ideas of what I should do with mine.
And let’s just say on that subject we do not share the same vision.
As we bickered, my wife came running across the snow.
“Rocks!” she cried, “don’t dump them there. I have better ideas where they should go.”