I have an avocado tree in the backyard. It makes avocados all year round, the crazy thing. The squirrels love it. Boy, are they fat and glossy this time of year.
Across the street is another avocado tree. It's decrepit. There are great cracks running down its trunk, it has very few large branches, and just spindly sparse collections of leaves. Never any avocados.
My neighbor, 87-year-old May, asked me why the tree in my backyard was doing so well. I had no idea. But one day, while looking after her yard, I noticed there was a weed barrier over her soil. It completely surrounds her avocado tree, and spreads from foundation to driveway. Her poor tree is dying from lack of water and from dead soil.
I told her, "May, we just need to pull up all this plastic and your tree will probably come back to life!" Oh no, she said, then the weeds will come, and I'll have to be out here all the time pulling them up.
In my own heart, do I have a barrier to protect me from weeds? Do I notice it also prevents me from receiving life-giving water?