Can worry stop a tree from falling?


Okay, people, I don’t have children. Everyone’s aware of that. But I’m sure getting some practice! Now IIIII don’t think I’m a huge worrier. Sure I like to be dramatic and act all ‘stressed out’ sometimes, but that’s really for comic relief – my own and those around me. However, Sean makes me worry sometimes.

Two weeks ago, Bob needed a few trees out of his backyard because they’re hollow and could fall over at any moment. It would costs hundreds of dollars to pay someone, Sean was around, he’s got a few chainsaws, and viola! They decide to chop ’em down, chop ’em down.

After we took the chain link fence apart, they needed rope in the tree so with tension, they could direct the falling tree away from buildings. Seems straight forward. However Sean couldn’t get a good angle on setting up the ladder, so he ended up leaning it against a few branches, not quite against the trunk, not quite as secure as one might hope. While I hold and he climbs, the panic also rises. This was only the beginning. After he reaches the TOP of the ladder, a good 45+ feet up, he just steps off! and hugging the trunk like a momma hugs her first born on the first day of kindergarten, he scoots up the trunk, using 1 inch branches for ‘foot holds’. At this point, I’m dang-near panicked. All I can see is a gust of wind, or a branch breaking, or a momentarily loss of arm function and this kids falls onto the shed. Or worse yet, hits the deck. About that moment, I realize I’m death gripping the ladder with one hand, while chewing on the nails of the other. Then I start thinking, Okay if he falls, should I try to slow his fall with my body? I mean I know how to spot someone when they’re boudering. However, no one I’d like to spot boulders from 60 feet off the ground. Ok, so if he falls, just don’t touch him. Call 911 and don’t let him move. And if he breaks his back, Okay, that’s fine, I can push him in a wheelchair or something. Gail’s a physical therapist, so I just gotta get him to Arkansas for discounted therapy. 

“Okay I’m done.” His shout snaps me out of the downward spiral. The rope’s secure & he’s ready to come down. Thank goodness! However, he realizes he’s a bit far from the top of the ladder and down-climbing the 1 inch pencil-thin branches is a sure-fire way to get down a little too fast. He’s looped the rope around several solid branches and I can see him eyeing the rope.

“Why don’t you just make yourself a harness and rappel down?” I hear myself asking. And immediately do a risk calculation, which is safer – rappelling out of a tree on a rope I know nothing about except it’s fat & white? OR climbing down the minute branches? Quickly realizing neither sounds too great, I do feel more confident in the rappelling. Perhaps it’s all those hours we’ve spent on the wall. I’ve got a trust for the guy. And it’s been tested.

“Yah, okay. I think I’ll rappel.”

“Ok, I’ll go get your harness.” I run so fast to the garage, it’s like his life depended on it. Not sure whether I wanted to see him fall out of the tree, or miss it and find him mangled upon my return from the garage. I run faster. Just hoping with all my worrying it wouldn’t happen.

For anyone that knows Sean, I’m sure you’re not surprised he made it. OR if you know him really well you’re as delighted as I am he’s safe. Once he was back on the ground, I think III was the more exhausted out of the two of us. I know worrying can’t help. It won’t add days to my life, and if God can take care of the birds and plants, surely He can handle me too. But sometimes I think  but I’m a little bigger than a bird. And I sure don’t EAT like a bird. So sometimes I’m not too convinced that worrying doesn’t help. But no proof that it does. However, the apprehension and inner tension I feel with ‘worry’ sure does seem to fuel my prayers a lot more. Soooooo then again, maybe it all comes around, as long as I don’t stay in the worry part.

And my gratitude does get a bit of an ‘upper’ once everything turns out all right. I gave that boy the biggest hug he’s seen in a while once he landed. Of course, I played it off like I was just being dramatic, but a girls gotta get her composure when she can!

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One thought on “Can worry stop a tree from falling?

  1. Paul

    good story. I took a tree down a few weeks ago. Kathy only came to the window every so often, to see if I still was alive, but she said she could not watch. I had to take it down in parts, due to the location. I think it’s a man thing. It actually was my second time, but the first time I had help. This one was not as high either, but being up there and having the tree readjust from a major branch on one side being cut off while you are just standing on a branch makes you wonder if the safety on the saw really works. But they are charging an arm and a leg to cut it down for you, so, either way, you can lose some limbs. But I am glad it went well!

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