The Worry Tree !
Paresh, an Indian carpenter I once hired to help me restore my old farmhouse, had just finished a difficult and hard first day on the job. A flat tyre on his lorry made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw stopped working, and now his ancient pick-up truck refused to start. While I drove him home, Paresh sat in stony, thoughtful silence.
On arriving, Paresh, displaying typical Indian hospitality, invited me in to meet his family. As we walked up the garden path towards the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tip of each branch with both hands. He opened the door and immediately underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face no longer showed the strains of the day but was wreathed in smiles as he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterwards, he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied. ‘I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So, I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.’
‘Funny thing is,’ he smiled, ‘when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.’
Thanks to Bahar Emek who introduced us to this story.