Saturday, May 22, 2010

but then the tree rescued me...



                                            The tree is more than first a seed,


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then a stem,
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then a living trunk,

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and then dead timber.
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                               The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.  


~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert



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.

I sat.

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.

18 comments:

  1. What beautiful sentiments Vicky. Trees are such a healing force and I do believe that back to back you can pick up its healing energies.
    Take care!

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  2. Oh, I love you. Reading your words and then looking at the photos again... I see his sturdy spirit in them. I see your spirit there, too.

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  3. Oh, now this is too amazing...We are both meditating on Antoine de Saint Exupery this weekend!!! YOU ARE A KINDRED SPIRIT, without a doubt!!!!! Vicky, you are also a FANTASTIC blogger...this post is poignant, incredibly moving, and poetic! And your photos are simply exquisite. What an absolute treat this was! Thank you. Love you much! Janine XO

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  4. oaks of righteousness ... enduring

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  5. Hi Vicky

    I see that this is a time of transitions for you too. My Dad's move into a nursing home was brought upon by a series of minor strokes that left him a little confused and slow at moving about. My Mum felt she could not manage him, but he was distraught and ran away many many times. Finally he began to accept his lot and Mum felt a great release and relief.

    This is a very difficult time for them to move from being independent active elders to being taken care of and in the process losing much control over their lives. My dad exercised what little control he had right to the last few days. I was pushing him in a wheel chair down a corridor and he grabbed the handrail and refused to go ahead. Instead he pushed himself backward and forwards as if to say...well this is one thing I can still do myself.

    My thoughts are with you as you assume some of the decision making and supervision roles. I tried to remember to treat him with dignity and not patronise him or speak to him as a child even if he was incapable of making important decisions or remembering much.

    Take care Vicky
    Delwyn

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  6. Personification that is absolutely beautiful, Vicky. This is a wonderfully written piece. (I shouldn't cry over a tree, should I?...but I did when I read your blog....what beautiful personification here....absolutely incredible.)
    I think of you...your parents..and also your Uncle. I pray for each of you every day. I hug you, my friend...and pray for strength for you and your family. I hope that you continue to reach upward and outward gaining more strength each and every day. The Lord we love will forever have His arms around you and your family.
    I hug you, Vicky.
    Love,
    Jackie

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  7. I can relate to this tree and to you very well Vicky.
    I view the tree as a living entity much like a human but in different clothes.Guess I've been a tree hugger all my life lol.
    This is why I never have living Christmas trees in the house because I see the tree struggle to survive but without roots.....
    I see the sap flowing out as tears and it breaks my heart.

    Your tree is grounded and so it has HOPE.Your Dad will win the sky and so will you. You can never lose here as long as you believe.
    Chin up and keep strong.:)

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  8. Oh I so love the welcoming friendliness of trees. You have captured so much of what I feel here.

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  9. Hi Vicky...what a beautiful post! I am so sorry to hear about your Father...so glad you found some comfort in an old friend.
    So glad you clicked your way to my blog..so I could come back and visit you! Namaste, Sarah

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  10. Beautifully written, Vicky, and my thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

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  11. Bittersweet thoughts. It is wonderful how the quiet goodness of nature can go along way in helping us through this journey of life.

    I hope and pray that the feel and image of a sturdy embrace stays with you as you walk the road of caring for your dad. For surely God's embrace is the same.

    Blessings.
    Jenny

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  12. Love you so very, very much, dear Vicky...You and your family are much in my prayers!!! Janine XO

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  13. This is a beautiful post! Great photos!

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  14. What an exquisite picture you painted (photographically AND through your personification), of your lovely, old tree. I'm glad you can find a moment and sweet comfort in something that has lasted so very long in your life. And your dad will live on, not only with the Lord, but in you...in your sons.

    Everything you write about him makes me admire him. I'm glad I'll know him someday. Love to you, sweet friend.

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  15. This is a beautiful tree and it was lovely the way you compared it to your dad.

    A tress trunk is always stronger when it branches are supportive. My thoughts are with you in this emotionally difficult time.

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  16. Oh my goodness...this is profoundly touching. The photos. The words. Your heart.
    I will pray for all of you as you embark on this journey...holding you close my dear dear friend...
    love you so.

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  17. You could make me cry with this one. Beautiful Vicky.

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  18. A very poignant post Vicky and I wish your dad well. I wish he is as happy and healthy as he can be. In the company of his wife, children and grandchildren. I send him a hug and lots of love

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