Tree, family tree.
Like the tiny sapling that lived in front of my childhood home.
By high school its branches had reached the roof, and my window. Scaring me some nights as they brushed up against the glass.
Now when I go home, what was once no more than a twig with a few leaves, is a mighty elm that greets me before the door.
It tells me my travels are over.
That tree tells me I’m home again.
I’ve really grown to love that tree.
Now I think of the large shade tree outside the house I share with my husband.
I think of how many generations have lived in this home, and how much that tree must have seen.
Kids climbing its strong limbs as they stretch up towards the sky.
Birds making their own homes in it.
They greet me some mornings when I remember to wake up slowly, and sip my coffee, instead of running into the day like a suicide bomber.
Tree makes me think of the woodgrain pattern I intended to hand-emboss on all 150 of our wedding invitations.
How, for weeks, I thought I could do it all myself.
I made one invitation, beautifully embossed, before a good friend stepped in.
“You just can’t do it by yourself,” she told me. And I wanted to cry with relief ‘cause I knew she was right.
So I gave up the woodgrain, and was pleasantly surprised how beautiful the simpler version of our invitation was.
I wish I’d known then that sweet friend wasn’t just talking about the invitations.
It’s hard to live in a world where we’re dependent on one another.
Like vines, like branches, all connected.
All tied together.
Some days we want anything but to be linked at the root with these people we call family.
We want freedom. Complete independence.
We want to be shut off, and separate, from the world.
But trees remind us of the truth underlying our dysfunctions, and our difficulties with vulnerability, and our pride, which get in the way of being happy at home.
Happy in relationship with our significant others, our parents, our brothers, our friends, our siblings, all these people sharing this same planet, this same sod.
They remind us that the only way to be strong, and to weather this world, to survive the cold winters and bring refreshing shade in the spring, to let others enjoy us, and others support us, is to be in this thing.
Like all those beautiful trees.
- 30 -
I think the reason I love the fall so much now, is because the autumn air encourages us to live in community.
Sharing cocoa, sharing blankets, sharing long walks around the park. The very essence of fall is our need to be together.
Like I’m mesmerized by how many colors can exist on one single branch of a tree, I’m amazed how much better it feels to go through life with company.
Thank God for fall, and the seasons that are easy to love.
If you're sick of hearing about Five Minute Friday already then I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry. I can't stop singing its praises.
Basically a bunch of great ladies (and a few guys) get together every week in cyber world and spend five minutes free writing about a new subject.
The beauty of it is the freedom that comes in shutting up the inner critic and just letting ideas loose.
Some weeks it's the only thing that restores my sanity.
So, as I've said before, even if you're not yet ready to join the community (and let the world see your work; which you really should!) you should still give this exercise a try sometime.
You never know what you'll get when you do. It could be disgusting, or it could be delicious. (Isn't that what Forrest taught us?)
And just like that we're back to trees. :)
Have a blessed weekend friends.