One Tree


Trees have always been important to me.

They hide, heal, serve as guide posts, are good to have conversations with, remind us that it’s never over till it’s over.

By that I mean about this time of year I sense their preparation to withdraw; leaves take on a certain grey cast, the incessant push and drive slows and keeps slowing.

I keep wondering if I’ll make it through another winter. Then I do.

I remember one photograph of me taken by my father when I was an excruciatingly awkward, buck-toothed girl of 13 or 14.

I stood there in my best orange ill-fitting smock dress from India that was all the rage. It had that weird head-shop smell of patchouli oil. It was a bad orange.

Behind me bloomed a riotous pink crabapple tree.

I saved that photo because it represents something important to me. I look there and see that immense awkwardness I felt as ‘not good enough’ before my father’s very particular and pointy eye behind his camera. He wasn’t present much so we all had to get it right in the time we had. In the photo you can see I knew I wasn’t gonna cut it.

Along with that visceral tremor I experience revisiting this iconic image I see the perfection and absolute ease of the blooming tree.

That juxtaposition really served me to do what I had to do to get to where that tree was.

It was my teacher, my guru, my way-shower.

And here I am.

With gratitude to that tree.


3 Responses to “One Tree”

  1. Alexandra Eldridge on August 5th, 2014

    Wow, what a thinker and writer you are. I am always blown away when I read your words. Astounding is the word. Thank-you. Love, A

  2. willow1945 on August 5th, 2014

    Trees have always been important to me too, although I wasn’t conscious of how much until I was in my forties. But I can remember occasions during childhood when I was feeling very hurt and upset and I always ran to a tree, where I felt safe, comforted, loved. And even now, they still talk to me, sometimes to tell me how I’m really feeling, as opposed to how I thought I was feeling, or we might just chat and say hello, but they’re always my friends. So I loved reading about your relationship with trees–thank you!

  3. Jenny on August 8th, 2014

    The tree pictures are amazing, and one of the amazing things is that our animal lungs and bronchi look so like the trees. Looking at the maples from underneath there are these beautiful images like alveoli. The great baobab trees look like gills too. Isn’t it extraordinary how the inspiring oxygen and expiring carbon dioxide or vica versa is so similar in all living things?

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