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The Hawk's Nest

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The Hawk's Nest

The good and bad of shedding


I like fall. Okay, I know, I say that about all the seasons but I really do like fall. Nature’s work seems to be done and is relaxing a bit, as it prepares for a good rest during winter—another season I really like. 

The way so many plants and trees shed leaves and needles allowing them to prepare the ground for winter, and making branches lighter for surviving winter’s snow loads, is a lesson I want to understand.

As an observer, I wonder if I could make ready for winter by doing a little shedding, so I sat among the trees for a long time this morning with just one question: How do you do that? 

The answer came clear and simple. “Look at what you have that isn’t serving you anymore and shed it.” 

Ironically, as I walked back to the house, I stopped by our storage shed. Now when one adds the adjective storage to shed it means the opposite of what the trees in the woods were telling me. Well, it isn’t really opposite because, everyone knows, what is kept in a storage shed will be needed, someday. I would not buy material and spend time to build a place to keep stuff that is not needed—that would be stupid. 

The reason I found myself at the storage shed was the direct result of being filled with inspiration from my morning time with the trees. I was thinking shed as in fall and missing the real point of a storage shed. There was another reason: I too need to get ready for winter. That means getting my shop ready for indoor winter projects but the shop is almost full of important stuff. That’s because the storage shed is full. So to clear the shop I need to make room someplace else. Therefore, I was standing in the door of the shed wondering if something, quite by accident I’m sure, could have been put in there that wasn’t needed. 

I can see that trumpet I bought at a garage sale thirty-some years ago; I still think I could learn to play it. Next to the trumpet is my trombone I played from grade school into college—haven’t played it since I bought the trumpet, but I’ll play that again I’m sure. Oh, back in the corner are, let’s see, two, three, five, seven, eight pairs of skis. I did ski a couple years ago, but I didn’t use any of these. I see some file cabinets from a previous life. Don’t have a clue what might be in them, but I’m sure someday someone will discover their contents validate my contribution to humanity—and possibly to the whole universe or maybe even the omniverse. 

A tree sheds a branch that drops on the ground behind me. I wonder if it’s telling me I’m being just a little bit grandiose. 

I look back in the shed and mentally inventory everything I can easily identify from the door. 

As I stand there, I can’t find a thing I need to shed. 

One member of our household (there are two of us total) suggested we throw a chain around it and drag it down to the Dufort Mall, her quaint name for nearest dump. However, I just added a lean-to on the side of it for more tool storage so that’s out of the question. Now it’s a storage shed with attached equipment shed. 

I go back out and sit against a large tree for more inspiration. I get a thought: “If I don’t figure this shed thing out, someone else who lives here might.” That could be unpleasant at best. 

Reluctantly I think it is time to take the lessons of fall into the storage shed. Maybe someone will view these wonderful resources for what they are and it will turn from trash to treasure. 

Then I can relax into the next season of fun projects in an open and roomy shop.


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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

Tagged as:

autumn, storage, hoarding

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