Since we bought our house in Vermont, a lovely Cape in the woods, our homeownership approach has been: Act first, think later.

This was certainly true when it came to the trees. “Oh look,” I exclaimed the first time we saw the house, “there are so many beautiful trees!” (We learned later that our neighborhood sits within the administrative boundaries of the Green Mountain National Forest; beyond our acre, the woods are protected by law.)

The trees are beautiful. They are important: alive and life-giving. We are big fans of trees. We’ve read The Lorax — many times.

But because we saw the house first in April, before there were leaves on the trees, we didn’t think about the leaves. Or the acorns. Or the lack of sunlight. Or the effects of leaves, acorns, and lack of sunlight on the roof and wooden decking. We didn’t question why there were massive trees two feet from the house (the prior owners had built an addition without clearing any additional space.)

Perhaps you can predict what I’m working up to here: This August, we had 20 trees taken down in our yard.

Click here to continue reading my “Faith in Vermont” column for The Addison Independent.

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