When we first moved to the property in 1997 the tree was in full bloom – it overpowered the house, which at that time was small & in need of repair. The tree — a Chinese elm – was immense & overpowering — the leaves and branches were lush, and it made a wonderful statement about the property – that it had tremendous potential.
We wanted to build a new house on the property with feng shui principles, and the Chinese elm, native to China, Japan, Korea & Vietnam, beckoned to us.
We rebuilt the house, and framed it around the Chinese elm…but as the years progressed we noticed the tree was less lush, & it appeared to be dying. We called a botanist, and he thought perhaps the roots were harmed during the remodel, even though we didn’t touch the front yard…he said the tree was dying, & he recommended cutting it down, & planting a new tree. We just couldn’t do this, so we worked to salvage & heal it. We gave it special fertilizer & watered religiously around its roots, we trimmed the dead limbs and determined to extend its life. Well, the tree is still here, not quite as lush as before, but it stands tall, and it still frames our home, in a stately way.
This tree reminds me of my mother, who moved into our house with us in 1997. When we moved in, my mother was 75 years young, she drove and she shopped, danced & walked on her own. Today my mother will be 90 and she has alzheimers, and like the tree we care for her at our home.
So I like to think our house is balanced in yin and yang. Both the tree and my mother were once young, full of life, with a full head of hair. But time passes, and they are both aging, & we tend to them both. Feng Shui is about transition and living with it gracefully, and that’s what we do in our home.
And in our backyard are blossoming peaches, cherries, pomegranates, meyer lemon, limes, and a garden filled with Japanese herbs, traditional & medicinal herbs, & vegetables. And we have two lively dogs — so we are full of spring’s abundance.
On this May day enjoy spring in all its glory, for it is both the end and a new beginning.
In gratitude, Janet Mitsui Brown, www.thejoyoffengshui.com