We’re just over half-way on getting these trees into the ground. We’ve seen planting in too-warm weather, in relentless rain, and now, snow. Since the trees arrived we’ve had one major illness in the family, one death, and one family crisis. We are reeling.

The advantages of the trees’ early arrival, is that they’re going in quite dormant, and before the bugs arrive. The disadvantages are mostly weather related. Something is reminding me that a couple of years ago, I said, “No more than about a hundred,” after having exhausted myself putting in over two hundred. I guess I have no self control in the ordering department. Oh, that, and that the biggest price break hits at one hundred trees. We get to plant almost twice as many for the same price.

In some ways it’s a good thing to have this mammoth task, because it forces us outside–away from the fretting and worry that come with multiple crises. The past ten days has also been a slap upside the head to get our own estate matters in order. Who are we kidding? We are not young. And there’s nothing like seeing an estate or two wholly botched to know that you have no business visiting that upon your heirs.

That’s partly what we’ve learned from Covid–we are all living on borrowed time. Age and good habits are no guarantee. You can roll your eyes over someone’s diet–and get hit by a bus because you were momentarily inattentive. The least we can do is enjoy the time given.

So, we suit up, gather our tools and head into the forest to plant trees that we will never see fully grown. The forest is quiet. The ramps and dutchman’s breeches are pushing up through the leaf litter. The Spring Beauties are already up, and blooming. The work is not strenuous–just steady and repetitive. Marching up and down the hills is strenuous–but good exercise to get us ready for the rest of Spring.

In tree-planting, and in life generally, we’re half-way there.