Friday, March 8, 2013

Conflict Resolution

Barn's burned down
Now I can see the moon -

I gave myself a couple of days to simmer down. Over that time, I drafted a nice letter in my head that I could drop off with my neighbor. After many, many revisions, I was ready to put it on the page. I picked out an appropriate card from my greeting card collection basket. It had the haiku above on it, which I thought was appropriate. For every bad thing that happens, there's something good to find. I skipped over the card I was tempted to use. It said, "If I keep a green bough in my heart, maybe a singing bird will come to perch on it." But that seemed sort of snarky, considering the cause of the disagreement. And also the sad fact that my neighbor now has very, very few green boughs left.

My daughter decided to bake some cookies. Since we periodically share our baked goods with one or more neighbors, that's just following an established precedent. And along with the plate of four gooey fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies, I handed over the nice card with a message saying that I hoped our tree was now trimmed enough for them, that I apologized for being so overwhelmed by my life responsibilites that I was crying sobbingly in their front yard, and that I hoped we could continue being good neighbors. So we'll see how that goes.

As I told the girls, it's not about being right. It's about being friendly and maintaining a good rapport. (Because I actually KNOW I was right. I don't care if the neighbor ever knows that or not. I know it; that's enough.) And the tree looks beautiful now. And our very kind and professional arborist got a bonus job and made some money. (Bye, money.) So it is just a blessing in disguise.

And now we can see the moon.

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