Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Sturdy Tree

I dedicate this post to women- past, present, and future- who refuse to give up, call it quits, or hide who they are, no matter what storms they face. The forest of your Sturdy Trees is a testimony.  

The tree had its beginnings like all trees do, in the form of a seed, joined with a sister seed in a whimsical green pod that looked an awful lot like wings. It was attached by the smallest of stems to the mother tree, and without even a goodbye the wind caught it one spring day, sending it pirouetting through the sky, twirling and dipping until it gently landed, eventually, in a field.

There, it waited, patiently.

The sun grew warmer, causing wildflowers to spring up all around, drying the pod to a crackly sandy brown. It disintegrated and became chaff, releasing the seed to tumble downward and land, with confidence, onto the dark brown soil called the earth. 

Many seasons came and went.

The tree grew large. The tree grew strong. The tree grew sturdy.

And a mighty wind blew against it.

by Mary Oliver

It didn't behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
the back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and 
falling. The back of the hand to
everything. But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of the summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn't stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn't
care. And after the leaves came 
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream for me.

Hurricane force winds. Torrential soaking rains. Flash flood waters.

But the Sturdy Tree remained.

Steadfast yet changed.

Resolved to produce leaves again...

And produce leaves, it did.

It does. It will.

Leaves of glistening gold.

The season is never wrong. My dream, your dream, lives.

       Outside stands the dream...

On May 20th I celebrated my 54th birthday. Here are a few highlights:
Had an awesome vegan birthday carrot cake prepared for me by my daughter Lisa-Noel.
Went to dinner and gorged on Mexican food with my girls.
Went to Amber and John's for a "gender reveal" party, where, surrounded by family, I learned that my second grandbaby, due in November, is a boy!
Celebrated Pentecost Sunday at church, where I first caught sight of the Sturdy Tree.
Read Dale's sermon for Pentecost and had a spirited conversation with my son about the inspiring words of Romans Chapter 8. There is therefore now no condemnation...
Traded a stranger for some equipment to set up my very own black and white darkroom (coming soon- fall 2015). If you'd like to see some of my digital B&W work, please click on the link here.

And in a dream, I saw the roots of the Sturdy Tree growing deeper, even as I slept.

Those roots, four generations strong...

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