Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Beech Hedge

Here in England and Scotland, we often see beech hedges--an inventive way to make use of those copper-y beech leaves that don't fall off until the very end of April. A beech hedge can be one "wall" of a garden "room."

The idea of a beech hedge is particularly attractive to me since i live in the woods, which is full of beech saplings. I recently heard the state archaeologist give a talk, and he said that 6,000 years ago, just after the Ice Age, beech made up 36 percent of the forest in Vermont. My guess is that it still does.

My neighbor, who lived in England 40 years ago, is trying to create a beech hedge to keep the deer out.

How do you create a protective hedge so that the positive qualities you wish to grow will actually grow? For instance, it's difficult to listen to the news and cultivate happiness at the same time. The news gives us many opportunities to practice compassion, but i often get stuck in ain't-it-awful or some other form of aversion. Aversion is a mental weed that i do not want to propagate.

My "hedge" means i don't read or listen to the news very much--maybe 5 minutes a day reading the headlines in our town newspaper. It's amazing how much i absorb through osmosis.

Here in the U.K., the news has been interminably of Brexit for the past two years. People are good and tired of that "news," which could just as well be called "olds."

It's time to build a hedge around your precious time, your precious life.

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