Friday, October 17, 2008

Welcome Home

A young, lacy maple grows along the fence, just off the back porch. She grows too near an old pine, yet she is the first to draw morning light, bathing in it like an exhibitionist awaiting my attention. She is a young tree, yet strong enough to thrive in the shadow of her brother. She stands there, anchored in the embrace of her brother's roots, yet her limbs are still spindly new, not yet wiry even. Yet somehow, that pine knows she will someday kick him in the shins and topple him over like a drunk off a barstool. Before the cooler breezes blew, she was green but sparse, tatted like curtain lace, clothed in teddy bear lingerie. She wore her leaves differently, not like the square dance skirt of a blue spruce, not like the tinsel, stripper's wig of a weeping willow, not like the ploofy-shouldered gown of an oak, but rather like the delicate tickle of a lover's touch, like a naked woman standing half-hidden in the doorway, like dawn's first whisper. Autumn arrived, and she colored before all the others, the yellow of like, overcome with the impatience of youth, strutting in the sunlight like a runway model, maybe a tad anorexic, but blazing with wanton desirability. Now, alas, she is bare and defiant, her branches exposed like the veins of dying leaves, yet she cries out "I will endure the snow and the ice. I will grow more slowly in the freezing winter, but I will not break, I will not stop. I will stretch for the dimmer sun and the brighter moon, drink from the hardened earth, feel the warm, buttery syrup coursing through me".

Her spring will inevitably arrive, and she will reach for the sun with new greenness but, perhaps less lace. And she will wear a new dress, and be beautiful once again. Birds will nest and squirrels will scurry. Her green will change and evolve with time, and the cycle will repeat.

Yes, the cycles are as constant as doubt, and changes will come. She will wear many dresses and shed them all. Her trunk and branches will thicken with time, knotted and whorlly, protecting the magic rings of time within. She will seed and she will sow, until a time long past my final breath. And she will become someone else's favorite tree, masking her secrets and sharing her strength. And they will see a different beauty in her, different than the one I see, but that's alright, because my vision of her has and will sustain me, until I am gone.

1 comment:

Gail said...


Beautiful imagery.