The tree is more than first a seed,
then a stem,
then a living trunk,
and then dead timber.
Friday I arrived at my parent's house, accidentally, over an hour early. So I went down the block to our empty rental house. In a few short days it will once again house a gaggle of college girls. But in the meantime I took full advantage of the tranquil setting.
With my back to the tree.
Feeling its sturdiness against the spine of my back.
I felt the forgiveness of the tree ooze through her bark. The scar from the pick up truck that had run into her several years back was just above my right shoulder. Remarkably, the tree had only been bruised and quickly sent shoots of new growth reaching out around her. The truck bore the brunt of the damage.
I could see the resiliency in her leaves. The Dutch Elm Disease that has claimed so many other Elm trees on the street, has not gotten a grip on this one.
I felt the warm embrace of her branches. Spreading out around me, shielding me from the wind and sun.
I drank in her strength and left transfused with her vitality.
I went back to my parent's house.
With the tree's whispered promise of hope playing through my mind, we signed my dad up for hospice.
Secure in the wisdom of the tree, I see my dad, he is "a slow enduring force, straining to win the sky." I am the offshoot of that tree, straining right along with him.