For several years, one of our traditions has been positioning our Christmas tree outside our front door, nicely decorated with ribbons and bows and shiny ornaments. Why outside? Well, here is one of the two reasons:
Yes, it’s the thorny cat problem. With two cats in our household, an indoor Christmas tree wouldn’t stand much of a stance. It would be (at best) knocked over, or (at worst) eaten. So our solution has been to station the Christmas tree out of harm’s way. This year, we chose a living tree — one grown in a large pot — that we found in a Carrefour supermarket in nearby Gourdon. It served us quite well during the hectic holiday season, and so we began thinking of a place where it could spend its remaining days as a living, growing tree.
Clearly our tree deserved more than just the basics. We wanted good soil and sunlight, of course, and a place for it to spread. But we also thought it would be nice for the tree to enjoy a beautiful view. And so we asked our friends Roy and Letitia if they would like to become the adoptive parents. Happily, they agreed, and today (Friday) seemed like a perfect day for the official planting.
Living up to his new responsibilities fully, Roy had prepared by selecting just the right spot in his yard, high above our village of Daglan in the hamlet of Le Peyruzel. He had even dug the necessary hole. And here is the tree, ready for planting:
Planting the tree turned out to be a two-minute operation. Pop it out of the container; stick it in the hole; pack the earth back around it; and have our wives Letitia and Jan supervise the necessary straightening of the tree. Here we are, at work:
When it was all over, we all felt immense satisfaction — knowing that we’d saved a young tree from a possible fate as garbage, and instead had given it a great place in the world of southwest France, with a wonderful view. Here is the view somewhat to the left, and down into the valley where Daglan nestles, a shimmering vision of medieval beauty (so to speak):
And to the right, the tree has a wonderful view to the north and west, with wooded hills and rocky outcroppings:
With all the work done, the four of us sat down in the January sunshine for a good old chat, until a cold front blew in from the valley, blotting out the sun with a cool mist. And so my wife and I headed off to Sarlat for a bit of shopping. (And feeling quite happy, I have to say, that our Christmas tree had such a lovely new home.)