Friday. Another sweet surrender.
Just this morning, before heading off to work, I sat for a moment and pulled myself into the now, focused not on the two places where nothing is – the past, the future. The breeze was soft and even in the present, there were scatterings of other times at the edges of my memory. So, I focused on the trees that push against the fence line.
They are without rule, without the strict reinforcement of man. They grow, and I let them. But in them, I was again reminded back to a lesson, one which I needed their help to re-find.
Every country girl moved to the big city knows one thing for certain. Regardless where you are, there is a part of you that grows deeper than concrete. You also know that while it’s a wonderful thought to dig up some of those baby trees for transplanting to city yards, it rarely works.
That’s because nature is without the limits of man’s wisdom. She grows untended, dogwood pressed against oak; redbud blossoming between pine and sweet gum; lady slipper and sumac in the same patch of moss. If you dig one up, expecting to see thick strong roots, you’ll be surprised. They aren’t that way at all. They are fragile and sprawling and weaved into each other. It is an environment that teaches them both to fight and to bend. So, if you relocate that pretty little redbud to the wide open space of a city yard, she will likely die.
And there, the lesson. We not only belong together; we are meant to be together. Our roots are made stronger when bound with another, reminding us to each other (to home) again and again.
As some of you know, my father was diagnosed with Parkinson disease some years ago. It is a blessing and a curse. Like any other disease, it is a lover that only ever wants more of that which we hold dear. But the blessing is in the lessons learned – in the weaving together of joys, memories, and challenges. Even sorrow is a gift for it surely never leaves us where it found us. I reflect on my interaction with my daddy, mama, my brother and sisters. Where one is lacking, another picks up. Even in the tight space of a hospital room or a kitchen, we are remembered back to the dance of being one, together, the same. One leans in as another sways. Weaving never is finished. Knots are tied and re-tied to remind us of moments fragile and perfect, but only always of love – the divine water that allows us to bloom, to grow, to strengthen, to pray, to heal.
So, back to the woods (the now). If you dared to dig up that little redbud, and tried to unravel her roots, you might be amazed. Not only would you find them intertwined with the neighboring pine and dogwood, but you’d find traces of roots from trees and flowers long since gone.
Her real beauty (her strength) lies not in the blush that decorates a forest, but in that which reaches deeper than dirt. As with all of us, the real story is the one written to her soul.
. . .
from traces of hello
the echoes of goodbye
last we loved
might I have known
would lead me back
where we are new –
within the light
. . .