Trees fascinate me.
From their toes buried deep beneath the earth, to the ends of their leafy fingertips.
To start out so small, merely a seed in the palm of one’s hand, surviving the elements and rising, soaring to great heights, supported by a root system so deep, curling under the soil, no matter the climate, is to me, a herculean task.
To believe in oneself so assuredly, that this, this is the place to set down roots, to aspire, to compete for air and sun and moisture, is no insignificant task.
To be a tree requires strength, stamina and spine.
The requirements for success are a crap shoot at best, set amid the passions of other trees similarly pointed skyward in an attempt to beat the odds and the whim of Mother Nature. But those trees, those deeply rooted in the soil, rise heavenward, toward the light source, toward the heat, then the cool, and soon, if lucky, if fortunate in the growing season...
put forth branches.
Branches, splitting off from the Mother Stem, secure in her faith and willing to stretch out into whatever crevices and corners await, seek only to find their own sunlight, their own singular grasp and reach.
Branches, however, know that they too are vital to the tree and its continued existence. Branches unfold and jut out in a desire to be different from, yet a product of their origin.
Branches, therefore, are a gift from the central figure, waving in the wind as they reach toward the sun.
For those of us seeking the edges of the universe,
branches are a safe place to explore.
Branches support our weight, lead us upward in the climb, and best of all, provide a window seat to life, the world of dreams and hope.
Branches support our weight as we shimmy and shuffle up into the sky, and provide a haven to rest, to dangle our legs, to pause in our dreaming, fully assured that the weight of these fanciful dreams cannot damage the strength of our roots.
In these bows, in these branches are the extension of the parent. The dreams of the Father. The visions of the Mother. Yet, here in these branches lie the fantasies of Youth. Reaching ever upward, thinking childishly, that no one has ever longed, ever desired, to be bigger, taller more robust than the parent.
But if truth be told, every Mother, every Father, longs for a miniscule break in the day-to-day struggle, to join these young shoots in a simple afternoon of folly, swinging freely, letting the breeze cool their anxiousness, as the whispers of a bedtime story fills the air, and a friendly owl comes to rest between the stem and the branch to hoot into the wilderness...
Does anyone know how much I long to stretch and grow and become....
where would we be
to sit upon
and swing our legs?
where would we be
unafraid to reach up
to look skyward and beyond?
the river flows steadily
we are whole
and from this base
of inner strength
we can flex new muscles
split off in new directions
and become those
elegant and soaring oaks
we love to climb
one limb at a time