Reflection: One of my favorite features in our backyard garden is a pond and stream nestled under the giant Scots Pine. I love watching the goldfish glide through the water and the songbirds splash in the stream.
That pond has also been a source of great consternation. For the last few years, keeping the water level up has been a challenge. As you might guess, the idea of fish out of water – literally – is not a pretty thought.
Over time, I’ve attempted a lot of different fixes. I wrapped the hose that carries the water from the pond to the top of the stream in a vinyl liner so any leaks would funnel back into the pond. I sealed around the spout at the top of the stream so the water no longer splashes over the edges.
I adjusted the pump and filter to control the flow of water in the stream. All were temporary fixes at best. At the end of the season last year, the water level in the pond still dropped six inches every single day.
This spring I decided a major dismantling of the streambed was in order, and that’s how I spent last Friday. I took the whole thing apart – stone by stone – and as it turned out, root by root.
Apparently the Scots pine that shelters the pond had claimed the stream as its own private drinking fountain. In three separate places, one-inch diameter roots had crept over the bank and into the stream – sending out smaller rootlets both up and down the waterway.
It took me four hours of steady work to rid the stream of a four-inch thick mat of roots and to free the rocks and stones held captive within. I traced the big roots back and cut each of them as far from the stream as possible.
I’m sure they’ll move in again, but this time I know to watch for it and will hopefully catch them sooner rather than later.
The fix was not easy – and it may not be permanent. But, at least I’m feeling more confident that this time I actually got to the root of the matter. Time will tell.
Action: How about you?
Are you wasting any time battling phantom causes of a pesky recurring problem in some part of your life?
Sometimes you have to take your time in order to discover the true source of a problem and you have to dig deep to make a real and lasting difference.
Don’t give up. There’s a solution out there somewhere.
Quotes Of The Week: The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year. – John Foster Dulles
Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots. – Rumi
The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. – Theodore Rubin
Resource Of The Week: Interested in digging a little deeper? Check out this tool for helping to tap into the root cause of any issue: The Five Whys.
Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Lighten Up & Relax, Pause reader YD wrote: At first, I read the content of the poster: “Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax.” I felt my shoulders relax (as I carry my stress in my neck) and smiled. Then I read YOUR words: “I immediately felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. And that brought a smile to my face.” Interesting isn’t it? I wonder how many people reacted the same way we did. Anyway, that is my intent for today: Lighten up and relax…