Towl Park Journal Day 90, April 17, 2017

Towl Park Journal Day 90, April 17, 2017

I do a bit of stump sitting every morning. Or...sometimes in the afternoon, if it is too cold in the morning. I think it's good for me and I believe it could be good for all of you, too. In fact, I believe that we all could do with some stump sitting. This is different from meditation. Meditation has intent. Stump sitting is merely just that. Stump sitting. You sit on a stump and just think or...I guess if you want to get fancy pants, you could call it free associating or some such nonsense. It doesn't have to be a stump. It can be a patch of grass, a rock wall, or a bench. As long as it is outside, it works for me. It will work for you, too. I'm convinced that the world would work better if we all sat on a stump for fifteen minutes a day. Or in Trump's case, like every single time he thought about tweeting. He could just think it out first and maybe decide that his thought is just too stupid to put out there.


My stump used to be a large pretty Austrian pine tree. It was one of three Austrian pines in our side yard. It was particularly lovely in the winter, when it would hold large dollops of snow on its tiered green branches. But, it was nice in the dead heat of summer, as well. On a hot day, it offered a cool, fragrant place to catch some shade.


Then, we began to notice that the tree was dropping needles on the ground. That it wasn't as pretty as it used to be. Its green was pale compared to our other trees. We had an arborist come look. It was decided that our tree had "canker." We started it on a special regimen of fertilization, pruning carefully, and extra watering. Nothing helped. It grew browner, dropped more needles. The arborist declared that we needed to cut the tree down so it would not spread its problem to the other trees.


We had such heavy hearts as we set up its date with demise. I couldn't watch the process. I went into the bedroom and sat on the bed trying not to hear the high pitched, almost scream of the cutting tools. At last, it was finished. All that was left was the stump. We vowed to put a bird bath, feeder, or plant on the stump. We forgot.


I did go out and peer down at its rings. I counted 105. It was interesting to see the tree's growth from the ring spacings. Some were an inch wide, others barely a sixteenth of an inch. I wondered about the heavy growth years versus the slim ones. Was there a drought? A hard winter? I'll never know.


The more I looked at the stump, the more it seemed to me like The Giving Tree.


One cold, late Winter morning, I pulled on my jacket and gloves and simply sat down on the stump. I let my mind wander. Untied a few pesky mind knots. Fifteen minutes was enough. My hands and feet began to numb up. I went inside.


Since then, I've been out to stump sit many times. I've always ended up with a clearer head than when I arrived. Nothing earth shattering. My problems don't sit overly heavily on my shoulders. But, the stump helps. I think it's a mixture of being outside and letting the contents of my head unfold as they wish. I feel better after a stump sitting.


You should try it sometime.

To leave a comment, please sign in with
or or

Comments (4)

  1. magnocrat

    Be careful there maybe s shortage of stumps and that would mean deforestation.

    April 18, 2017
  2. jaageet

    I am seated on your stump. Come back when you can and talk about something appropriate for stump-sitting. Perhaps, we can just sit silently, watching each other’s thoughts unfold. This is the kind of dialogue I like – unfettered rambling, gurgling up from the depths of our soul. Yup, singular. One soul. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be stump-sitting.

    April 23, 2017
  3. towlparkjournal

    Agreed. Fingers crossed. And lookee there. i knew you had a poet’s soul. You just hide it beautifully.

    April 23, 2017
  4. jaageet

    Poet’s soul? That’s woman stuff. I am a redneck – like Jesus, who was a carpenter. And don’t cross your fingers so that I can hold your hand. And, whatever, it’s going to be alright.

    April 24, 2017