Molar emerging after a long winter, encapsulated strength, pure will, breaking through skin frozen now mud and ice and broken sticks. Last year’s leaves holding to ideas and longing desires left and stagnant, so stagnant. Joy bringing spring the idea that you made it through the winter but still, you are still chewing on those thoughts.
Snow holding long blue shadows from trees too numb to notice their bark hardened by experiences. They are grouped in families, standing alone or just now emerging but all share this moment as light fills one side and casts darkness onto another.
I’ve been stalking myself for about a year.
It all started when I asked the universe for someone that had the same expression of love as I do. When I asked I set into motion a journey that was quite surprising. Asking for someone like you would naturally mean that you know who you are. I didn’t expect to learn much about myself because, after all, I’m 60 years old and have had many experiences including some profound mystical ones. Really, what could I possibly not know about myself right?
Slowly the layers began to peel. As time passed, I saw glimpses of the real me, buried deep amongst layers of the mundane and I realized that in some ways I’ve been numb.
Deep, deep stuff came up. Even the stuff that I already worked on. Even the stuff that I thought was over, done. Jeez.
But I forged ahead keeping my head up and my outlook positive because I really want to step into the next chapter of my life, and I think I now have. I have, at least, acknowledged the shift in seasons and have embraced the new growth of spring and the melting of the snow, and the warmth of the sun that removes the numbness of my mind.
Spring will soon be here and I’m looking forward to my long blue shadow replaced with a golden light on pale green saplings and mud. And I’m most looking forward to the possibility of my mate, the one with the same expression, to come into my life.
She’s gold, noticeable in the sunlight, a contrast to all that is white, brown, green and gray of winter.
Her trunk angled toward the warmth, her only concession to what is expected.
She renews by slowly shedding what no longer meets her needs. Her bark peels away in gold, tan, brown, their ends hanging, curling back up to the sky or just limp gathering ice from the cold wind, both rough and smooth.
Her distinctiveness is her gift to the forest for without the gold, the shine, the curl, all would be uniform and tidy.
Her beauty, her power comes from within. She is authentic.
Find beauty in all seasons of life, even when you are worn and your branches no longer hold leaves, or even a tube of green deep inside that sleeps until spring. Even when mushrooms prepare you as food for the others in the forest. Even when you finally rest on the forest floor.
Willing yourself to be positive in a situation rarely works. Your expression will only be flat and superficial. The real work is in the beauty. Finding beauty in all of life’s challenges is an act of finding love. Your expression is full and meaningful.
Sometimes life is really challenging. We have to reach down deep, into our roots, and pull every last bit of positivity out of us. We have to will ourselves to love.
Be in love with life. Find the beauty.
I cross the field, partially frozen ground of water and ice bobbing surface, sending liquid to another crevasse not near me but somehow, still connected to my feet. Crunching, splashing, my wet feet navigating, weaving through a field that was solid but now shifts. All in an effort to reach the short one.
We say that seeing is believing. I think that’s where we get ourselves into trouble. We can always find what we are looking for and if we depend on seeing something then we’ve just sold ourselves short.
When I look at this stump I see what we don’t see. I see a fairy land with a large mountain. I see the sun setting on something that seems to be thriving, glowing. I see life even in the cold snow and ice. I see the results of what is a healthy root system.
I see a community of trees supporting one another and even though this one has little to show for it on the surface it is a part of a bigger whole, united.
What would happen if we didn’t see just the obvious? What would happen if we acknowledged and supported each other, even the little stumps?
Young branches heavy with snow, protected and nurtured, exposed just enough to feel the warmth of the sun. Community surrounding and encouraging them to grow, to reach, to become.
Winter’s chill, darkness of sleep and lazy shadows meandering through the forest bringing armor to the little ones.
My elders have long left this earth but I remember the community and when I see these young trees I too want to wrap them in snow and tuck them in for the night.
I want to protect them and keep them from making the same mistakes I made, embark well-meaning words of caution learned from life’s lessons. Don’t pay too much for a house, always save money, give when you have the chance. Always under bake chocolate chip cookies and keep plenty of sand on hand in the winter when the freezing rain washes the snow from your driveway and you are left with pure ice.
I will always be a mom, not just to my children and grand children but to everyone because I care. I will teach, and nurture, until my last breath is taken away and I leave this earth for good.
Unconditional love is easy when you encounter a smile or a light heart, or a grandchild. The love comes beaming at you, swirling, glowing. It’s easy to say that you’ve done the work, you’ve evolved, you can do this! All time stands in your heart and you know the sun will set, but not before you are ready.
It’s easy when the forest speaks to you and fairies puff their wings and you sing the birds songs. Mud and ice beneath your feet, the smell of emerging buds on trees and last year’s leaves, frozen. Not thoughts. No accomplishments. No confrontations or opinions. Just saplings and elders and deer tracks.
It’s easy when you come to nature in awe.
Like this sapling, I want to spread my little branches and hang my needles so they sway in the breeze and glisten with frozen rain. I want to grow and love and have lots of little saplings that have saplings before the sun sets low in the sky. Before I begin to rot and be fed to insects and be made home by forest animals. Before the woodpeckers come and bore holes in my well worn bark. It’s easy when you spend time with this sapling.
Today we embraced at sunset, this little sapling and I, casting long blue shadows in the snow.
I am but a tree beside the road. Placed atop a small mound, my lower trunk bends from the years of giving, of responding. My roots are not fully covered by the ground now frozen, my tips exposed.
I want some nice person to come by and cover my roots with rich soil, warm, cover me so that I will stay here by the side of the road. I want to stay and grow. I want to become like the tree across the road, big, old, wise, branches brown and strong. Leaves that turn bright orange or burnt red. Shade that cools and protects. I want to stay to become the tree across the road. Because I know I can.
But now I sit, roots exposed, cold. Wanting and wanting to be moved, or changed. Knowing that some day the change will come. Spring will be here. The ground will thaw.
And I will become.