Life is not a hardship to be endured

by Charlie Badenhop

Life is always here, ready to teach us a "special" lesson of some sort or another, if only we would take the time to notice.
The street I live on in Tokyo is so narrow, that cars can barely
traverse from top to bottom. Because of this, a system for lining
up everyone's bicycles on one side of the street is necessary and
important. My wife, my daughter, and myself, park our bicycles
across the street in front of my neighbor's house. To me it seems
unfair for my neighbor to have all this clutter in front of his
house, but so be it. My neighbor's house sits one foot nine
inches from the curb. Pretty cozy, isn't it?

Eight years ago, an innocuous looking weed-tree began growing
right next to where I park my bike. You might think that a single
weed-tree growing where my bike sits is not a big deal but let me

This little weed-tree started life in a humble manner, sprouting
up in a crack between the sidewalk and the wall. Initially it
seemed too trivial to pay attention to or pull out, and initially
I even cheered it on while marveling at what a hardy pioneer it

The little monster grew quite rapidly from day one, and after
about six months it was wrapping itself around the front wheel of
my bike and birds were coming to rest on it. All of this activity
led to bird droppings on my bike seat, which led me to take out
my pruning scissors and cut the darn thing about six inches above
ground level.

Ignoring the weed in the first place was my first mistake.
Cutting it down six inched above ground level was my second. It
grew back with a vengeance! In no time at all it had more
branches than before, and the base coming out of the crack became
more tree like. Foolishly, I was lax again in my approach, and
within a couple of months, bird droppings started winding up on
my bike seat again.

This time around, needing hedge clippers to get the job done, I
cut the weed-tree down as close to the sidewalk as possible, and
I must say that I had a sense of "Good riddance!" when I did so.

Well, I think it was the very next morning, or two days at the
most, when I went outside to find the bloody thing sprouting new
growth. This time I quickly dug away at it with a small shovel,
but I couldn't unearth it, and sure enough, new growth quickly
answered the call to arms.

At this point I was beginning to concede a shift in the balance
of power. Regardless of my superior education and specialized
negotiation skills, the weed-tree was prevailing.

What to do?

I knew by now that there was only one viable course of action.
First, I found a new place to park my bike. Next, I went out and
purchased some plant food and liberally watered and fed the
weed-tree every day. My little beauty grew gloriously and I soon
began to lovingly trim it into a "bonsai" shape!

Some years later it is looking truly gorgeous!

Two questions come to my mind, and I wonder if they come to yours
as well.

1. Can a weed-tree that is nurtured, praised, and pruned, still
be considered to be a weed-tree?
2. Isn't life much grander once we realize that so much of what
goes on is not under our control?

I only hope my spirit, can be half as strong as the tree that has
offered itself to me.

Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from his thought-provoking ideas and a new self-help Practice every two weeks, by subscribing to his complimentary newsletter "Pure Heart, Simple Mind" at