The Joy of Caring.

Things prosper when cared for and loved.

This is a repost of what appeared over on Alex Jones’ blog Liberated Way last Thursday. It resonated so wonderfully with all the young plants and trees around us here at home in Merlin, and the numerous oak saplings making their way into the world! Republished with Alex’s kind permission.


Things prosper when cared for!

The joy of caring for something.

These oak saplings prosper because of care.
These oak saplings prosper because of care.

Today, I moved my eight oak saplings into the full sun, added a new layer of quality compost to their pots, and watered them. In their second year of life these oak saplings prosper because of care.

Caring for something means one must pay attention to the small details. For instance, I remove the caterpillars from the oak leaves, and the weeds that grow in the pots. If I did not concentrate on the small details, the little problems could grow into larger problems, the caterpillars destroying the oak saplings, the weeds stealing their nutrients in the pots.

Also, the individual spends time on the thing cared about, establishing regular activities, such as in my case, watering the oak saplings every few days. The individual looks for ways that the cared for thing might benefit, just as I moved my oak saplings into the full sun, added new compost to them, and infected them with a type of symbiotic fungus that aids oak sapling growth.

The thing cared for becomes special, for instance there are millions of oak trees in Britain, but only eight of those, my saplings, are special to me. In such a caring relationship, both sides come to depend upon the other. My oak saplings need my care and attention to survive, I need my oak saplings to feel good about myself when life is hard.

If the individual has nothing to care for, their life becomes empty and meaningless. I love the book by Antoine De Saint-Exupery called The Little Prince, which explores ideas around friendship and caring for things. In The Little Prince is the following beautiful quote:

You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you — the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars; because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.”


Can’t recommend too highly you dropping in on Alex’s blog Liberated Way – even signing up as a ‘follower’!

9 thoughts on “The Joy of Caring.

  1. Just as I was reading this I saw the local squirrel burying its nuts in my oak tree pots, the latest challenge I face from nature…

  2. Paul, this is so true in any situation. When we nurture anything (plants, animals, children, etc.) with tender care and love, they thrive and survive; they in turn, give us great pleasure and satisfaction because we had a hand in their progress along the way.
    Thank for sharing – going over to Alex’s site shortly to find out what he did about the squirrel burying nuts in his oak tree pots!

    1. Thanks Barb, and I have no doubt that you will like Alex’s writings. (He lives in the Essex town of Colchester that was the capital city of England in Roman times, and the same town that I had my business in back in 1978!)

      1. Yes, I looked at Alex’s About page and saw he is from Colchester. I am a Brit myself (born in Scotland, later moved to Blackpool, Lancs, emigrated to Oz many years ago.

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