I read a lot while we travel and recently ran across this quote from German poet, writer and literary critic Heinrich Heine. It made me consider the consequences of the way I’ve lead my life:
Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble dwelling with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, milk and butter of the freshest, flowers at my window, and a few fine tall trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees. Before death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did to me in their lifetimes. One must, it is true, forgive one’s enemies—but not before they have been hanged.”
– Heinrich Heine
The only problem with Heine’s concept is that I have plenty of trees with large, sturdy limbs, but no real enemies.
Oh, sure, I may have an ex-business associate or two who has allowed the years to distort imagined slights into festering wounds, perhaps a couple ex-employees who believe difficult business decisions were made at their expense, and a maybe even a few acquaintances who just don’t care for the cut of my jib.
That being said, I certainly wouldn’t want to see any of them hanging from trees in my front yard.
The gardeners would probably charge me a small fortune to remove their stinking carcasses.