The Worry Tree


I am watching this foreclosure media piece over the weekend and I saw something that was so sad, it was a little five year old boy, tugging at the pants-leg of a female sheriff’s deputy and he looked up and said, “How is Santa Claus going to find me now?” Man, that just kind of ruined my day.

I thought about these tough times and all the worry people have these days, how it all needs some kind of relief valve and then I remembered Sam.

We hired Sam to do some paintwork at our house, he seemed like a capable fellow, and we needed some work done.  I came home one day from work and Sam approached me and said, “Mr. Smith, I have this problem with my old truck.  She won’t start and I was wondering if you could give me a ride home today?” to which I said, “What about the truck?  You just going to leave it here?” and Sam said, “Yes, it will start when it is ready to start and if’n you don’t mind, I will just let it sit for the night.”

So I agreed and we loaded up to go to his home.

Arriving at his house, Sam did something I had never seen before, after getting out of the truck, he walked over to a huge tree in his front yard and he stood there for a moment, sort of touching and fondling if you will, the tree for a moment or two.


He then turned around and smiled real big and said to me, “Come on into the house Mr. Smith and meet the Mrs. and the kids.  I am sure she has some coffee on.”

So I agreed and then I said to him, “What was that all about?” and he said, “What was what about?” and I pointed towards the tree and then again said, “That?  What was all that about?” Sam smiled a big smile and he said, “Oh that?  That is my worry tree Mr. Smith.”

Curiosity getting the best of me, I had to ask.  So I inquired of him one more time, “A worry tree?  What in the world is a worry tree.”

Sam looked at me and then began to explain, “You see, inside the house there, that is the most important treasure in life I will ever have, my family.  My wife and those kids, they mean more to me than anything in the world.  And they do not need to know that my old truck would not start today, that I am not having a wonderful day, that things are not going all that well.  They need my love.  They do not need my worries or my concerns.  So every day, when I come home, the first thing I do, is go to that old tree, and I put all my worries and my cares in that old tree and then I go inside the house to love on my family.”

I thought about it for a moment, the simplicity of it, the honesty.  And then I said to Sam, “That is pretty good idea, I might have to borrow that one from you.”

His reply was, “It works for me, and here is the absolute best part about all of it.  The worries and concerns that I put in there at night, the next morning, only about half of them or less, are still there.  The rest of them just kind of evaporate or fade away.”

Sam is long gone, and in case you are wondering, the pickup did indeed fire up the next day, just like he said it would.

We now have a stately Sycamore Tree in our front yard, my worry tree, and I understand if you water it, nurture it, and provide for it, that they will grow to a height of some sixty-three feet.  And the formula works, old Sam was right.  You put ’em (the worries and the concerns of the day) into the tree and most of them are truly gone the next morning.

Try and do your level best this week and if you can, don’t worry about it.

It will all work out in the end.


“The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online)

2 thoughts on “The Worry Tree

  1. Nice story!
    Good advice.


  2. I have a worry tree over my hot tub. It has taken the place of my dear mother.(dead some fourteen years now) There is not other place where I can sit in my hot tub, gaze at god,or the sunset, or the full moon, and the tree has a branch that streches out over my head, and I imagine it is hugging me and whatever worries I have. The tub is right undet the tree. It’s perfect.

    Water, stimulates the serotonin in the brain, so I am a happy camper…but unlike that guy…I usually go inside and keep bitching! LOL! Maybe my tree is overloaded.
    I like this. Good observation!
    No longer living there, we drove by not long ago, and the new owner had taken a chain saw to the tree and it is now gone. Almost like a part of me had died, but it is like they say, “You cannot go home again” once you have left.

    The tree served me well for the years that we lived there and I was in the viable employ of a company and working seven days per week. More than once I stopped and left a lot of my mental load (worries and cares) in that old tree.

    Thanks for stopping by, enjoyed your comment.



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