It seems very common to have bowling pins all lined up. They are our beliefs about how things are or how they "should be". Some pins/beliefs are conscious, and some aren't. If we are lucky, some big bowling god will come along and decide to do some bowling. She will then knock down those beliefs, sometimes earning a strike, but usually only getting one or two pins at a time. She is not the best bowler. Or maybe, out of kindness, she chooses to only take one or two pins every turn, knowing that a strike - the erasure of all our illusions about life at once - can be much more than many can tolerate.
The point at which all or most of our pins/beliefs are knocked down can be called freedom. Because at that point, all we are left with is "what is". We are freed from our illusions, our stories, and we can finally be in this very precious moment.
This very moment is pristine. It has never existed before and it never will again. Those bowling pins, if not knocked down, pollute the purity of the moment, because we think that we know how it is and how it should be.
We already know that this is an elm tree, so we don't see it. Instead, we see our concept of an elm tree - maybe we only see an allergy-irritator. And the saddest part is that we do the same with people. We know that Aunt Whatsername is cantankerous when she gets up in the morning, so we begin to stay away from her, not seeing the sadness she carries - the sadness that is screaming for someone to acknowledge it. Ultimately, we think we know that life is supposed to go a certain way, so when it doesn't go our way, we kick and scream, trying to change it. While Life is calling for our attention, love, and kindness - even offering us those same things in return - we don't notice because we are too busy getting angry and trying to control it.
Why am I writing this? There are no "shoulds". There is no "Thinking about this, I should really start to appreciate that elm in the backyard. I should slow down and listen to Aunt Whatsername." The bowling god will take care of our pins in the right time. And we may or may not notice that it's happening. We may put up replacement pins, or we may gently let go of all pins, or we may start kicking and screaming.
It's all good.