Failure is Awesome: Emotions

It occurred to me that today was supposed to be a Farmers Market day.

I'll have to save that for tomorrow, since I promised I'd be continuing my thoughts on the awesomeness of failure.

The failure I want to talk about today has to do with emotions.  While overall I may be quite positive, there was (and is) one thing that I view with negativity.

I failed to see any beauty in the black walnut trees that grow in my yard.  

I saw them as nasty old trees to be feared, that dropped gigantic branches onto my porch and yard, causing a safety risk for myself, my friends, and my daughter.  If a large branch fell on top of any of us, after all, it would hurt.  A lot.  Depending on the size of the black walnut branch, a hospital visit wouldn't be out of the question.

I also complain non-stop about black walnut toxicity, and the many difficulties it produces in regard to my edible gardening. Now, this really is a problem, but is it as big of a problem as I think it is?

Maybe not.

It's more of an exciting challenge than a woeful dilemma, after all.  I can work around it.  Planting fruits and vegetables that are tolerant of black walnut's phytotoxin is a way of dealing with this, as is container gardening.  I've shown this many times over, yet I still allow it to bring me down.  How silly is that?!

My potato grow bag is an excellent example of that, I think.

Thankfully, I ran across a blog the other day that really helped me get over this failure.  

Rosemary's Blog very simply featured four photos looking up into the branches of a black walnut tree, with only the smallest amount of narration.  The spiraling pattern of the leaves was so gorgeous that I was shamed into admitting that yes, the black walnut is indeed beautiful.  Rosemary forced me to truly see the black walnut's grandeur.

Which led me to wonder what I could do that would capture this new-found love for the black walnut tree.  A celebration of my growth, if you will.  At first, I was coming up dry.  I had spent so much time looking at the black walnut trees with dislike that I couldn't seem to come up with anything.

As luck would have it, I 'made an oops' while at the coffee shop with my daughter a few days ago.  

While paging through a magazine, I spilled some tea onto one of the pages.

Since I had damaged the page by spilling a few drops of tea on it, thereby staining it, I was going to have to buy the magazine.  Sure, I could have been sneaky, closed it up, and placed it back onto the shelf... but what kind of irresponsible person would I be if I chose to do that?

I didn't want to spend the money, but I didn't want to be dishonest, either.  Plus, I believe in teaching by example.  I don't want to teach my daughter that dishonesty is ok.

Fortunately, I liked the magazine.

Not only that, but the page I had spilled on was from an article on how to build your own home using cordwood (firewood sized chunks of wood).

Yes!!!  I had my answer!

No, I wasn't going to chop down all of the black walnut trees to create a house - there wouldn't be enough, anyway.


I could build a dollhouse for my daughter, using the same concepts on a much smaller scale.  I could use some of the fallen branches, as well as the wood from some of the small, young trees that need to be cut before they damage the fencing along the backyard.

This will be a long term project.  I'll need to buy mortar, and I'll need time to gather the wood and put everything together.  It'll be a long process, but it'll be worth it.

This project will make us both happy.  

I always dream of building my own home, but lack the skills.  I also worry about the impact on the environment.  Even if I use materials from the land itself, I'd still be unnecessarily clearing land.  Renovating an older home would be a much more environmentally responsible idea.

A dollhouse, however, requires no clearing of land, and will only use fallen branches and wood from spots that a tree shouldn't actually by growing in.

Not only that, but she really wants a dollhouse, and I really don't want to buy one.  They're horribly expensive, and created using chemicals that I'd rather not know about.

With this project, we both win.

The best part?  We had yet another huge storm last night, with a ton of rain and high winds.  I think the heat wave may be over in our area of the Midwest (I'll keep my fingers crossed for everyone else that's still going through it).   When I walked outside this morning to gather some mint for my breakfast, I discovered this:

Looks like the environment agrees that this is a good idea for a green diy project!