October 25, 2012 § 33 Comments
She stands amidst the range of trees out back. A proud and massive oak, flanked by the maples. Her main trunk splits and she is slightly out of kilter, leaning to the west, but she wears her imperfections with disregard. Dressed now in the orange cloak of fall, soon she will stand nude through her winter vigil.
I have seen her limbs sway in the howling storms. Gracefully undulating to the forces of nature. Today the wind is down and she is still. Yet even in her still and silent posture I feel the energy and strength radiating outward.
Over the years I have spent countless hours in her presence. She watched over me as I buried Mike, our cat of 19 years, in her shadow. So many times, when I needed to return to the center, I stood before her and felt her presence. She is a living, breathing existence for me- not an object or a thing.
We choose how we live in and how we experience the world. She shows us the way.
Not loud, quiet. Not frantic, still. Not rigid, supple. Not drifting, rooted.
I see her now. She is simply and always right there.
How nice to read of your “humanizing” of the tree. I have often thought of how an old growth forest can live for hundreds-even thousands of years -and how small we seem in comparison! beebee
Hello my dear friend. I’m so glad I came by. This post washed a sense of calm over me and gave me a much needed deep, soothing breath outward. I’m moving through some life-changing moments this weekend and needed your presence. As always, this made the difference I was seeking. xo Heather
After an absence, I’m returning this weekend to the work of my heart- writing here and reading the work of others I love and admire, like you. Reading your warm and intimate message this evening reminded me of the deep and important connection I feel with you and your writing- that always real, open, and strong voice you possess.
I know that you will navigate those moments ahead with the deep self-awareness and strength that you embody.
i love the colors of the world it brings peace to my soul
Now, this I like to read. Beautiful and easy for the reader to connect. Well done!
I feel a lot like that beautiful tree. Quiet, still, supple,and rooted. I could add to that AND WAITING, for what, I do not know, just waiting.
Just too beautiful and touching. Thank you.
Trees are like that… yeah, they are… friendly too… and I’ve never seen one that asked for more than to be and perhaps be recognized.
Good one! Balance.
I love trees. I feel the same way about them. They watch us with such grace. They can claim us if we just take a moment to listen to their gentle message.
You rock, Tom!
Wonderful metaphor. I could use a bit of your oak wisdom in my life right now. Think I’ll tap into it. As if it were a maple.
And your writing is simply and always….beautiful.
There is a deep and ancient magic in trees. They inspire both joy and reverence in my heart.
We had a 270 year-old American Elm in our town. It stood watch over the intersection of four small town roads, across the street from the house where writer John Updike lived much of his life.
This year, the tree finally succumbed to a long-time illness that had left it’s gracefully arching branches bereft of leaves. Our town held a memorial for the tree. Songs were sung, prayers made, and readings shared with all who came to say farewell to this old and much-loved resident of our town.
It nearly brought a tear to my eye the next time I passed that way and all that was left was the broad stump. I could not watch them take it down. I knew it had to be done, but it still felt so wrong to destroy this living being that had stood for so many years and given life and shelter to so many creatures.
My world is a little less because of this loss, but my heart is a little happier having shared the farewell ceremony with a handful of other people who, like me, felt that something had to be said to honor the spirit of that old tree.
Thank you for this post. So lovely. Started my day off beautifully.
When I was recovering after chemotherapy, I would take long, slow walks into the woods near my home. And as I walked beneath the canopy of the old upright spruce or gaze upwards towards the ancient towering silver birches, so firm and solid, I could feel a palpable sense of peace and strength from these magnificent trees. And the thought that if these trees which have stood here for the last hundred years undisturbed and have weathered severe storms and long bitter winters and yet today remained so tall and so strong and so unperturbed – then so can I. And I too will live and become well and stand tall.
So good to know you share this reverence for the trees. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute. Sharon
Beautiful Thomas. Just, beautiful!
Great post. We can almost feel the silence and presence of the oak tree..
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Reblogged this on Missy Tree and commented:
This is such a beautiful honoring of The Tree. Enjoy xoxoxox
I love this. Namaste.
I’m not sure that anything can still me quite like the presence of a tree. Lovely homage.
Nature has a wonderful way of just knowing how we feel. It also has a way of allowing us to feel at one with ourselves. The Oak Tree you describe sounds magnificent. You have described her story so beautifully. An absolutely wonderful post Tom, I am going to save this one if that’s ok? Sending you peace light and happiness.
This one felt good to write. Simple and true. Like her.
I do receive the peace, light, and happiness that you send. I can feel it coming through. A great gift.
Tom I found this beautiful website about the Oak Tree: I thought you might like a look:
Your tree has attributes to aspire to, what a special calming gift of nature for you to have living in your home.
It is calming and at the same time, a source of great energy and strength for me. Such majesty and grace. She- and all her sisters- are miraculous.
So happy to feel your presence again.
Absolutely beautiful…..I can feel her strength and presence from here….
Took Sammie, our hound, into the woods this afternoon. She loves to chase the ball and go skittering into the fallen leaves- leaves fly all around- up she pops with ball in mouth.
How did we get so lucky?
Nice one, Thomas!
For sure, G.
Just got back from a walk in the woods- strength and energy all around.
Imagining you headed for the beach- the sea- where peace abounds.
Great post. I’m linking to it from my site.
Thanks so much. It’s such a generous thing for you to do.
Took me twenty seconds.
What’s generous is you taking the time to write, shift around, and then polish such a beautiful post.
Oh, and Thomas, here’s a post you may enjoy:
Eastern thinking and the idea of just doing things for fun (http://stanrmitchell.com/2012/10/23/eastern-thinking-and-the-idea-of-just-doing-things-for-fun/)
It doesn’t ring with the beauty of your words, but I think there’s a grain of truth in it.
[…] out this link on one way of looking at how we should […]