Tag Archives: Tree

Getting Back on My Path to “Just Be”

I admit the past week has been a bit “rough” on my theme of the year.  I have struggled to “Just Be.”  One of those “things” happened that just hits you in the gut and leaves you looking around saying “what the hell; where in the hell did that come from; and did that really just happen?”  We’ve all had them, I know I’ve had them more than once.  This one isn’t random and is personal.  It has hurt me in ways I thought I had shut down years ago.  Guess not.  I still don’t want to, even now.  I can’t go into details, as it would causer even more shit problems.  Let’s just say that I was accused, since I was never given a chance to discuss anything, of saying things I did not say and attempting to break up relationships that are very important to me.  And it was done by someone I felt I was close to and could trust.  There be the kicker.  I don’t care so much about being accused of saying things I didn’t say, we all get that, all the time.  However, breaking up relationships that are important to me, by this person, is incredulous.

Needless to say, my ability to “Just Be” through out this has not been stalwart.  I have been angry, sad and hurt.  I have retreated and haven’t been able to reach out my support systems.  I allowed this person to access my self-esteem, despite my brain telling me repeatedly, that what  is being said is false and is a reflection on them, NOT on me.  I have been able to use my brain to be rational about the entire situation.  I have NOT been able to reconcile my emotions.  They are just not there.  Oh, there have been glimpses when my emotions and my brain are in sync.  Like now.  I just never know how long this will last.  But the ability to “Just Be” and let whatever happen’ that has not even occurred to me, at least, until I opened my blog this morning.

Something in me clicked when I read Holistic Wayfarer’s comment about Lessons of My Tree-Part 2. (And that you for that!) I realized how far away I have traveled from my path. In just an instant!  I realized that we are all given moments that will lead us away from or to we are going.  We just have to decide which we want to notice.  We have to make choices everyday of staying true to our Self or going down different path.  I read so often about people trying to “find their way,” and I believe that this is all we are all trying to do.  Find our way to lead a “better” life: for some that is in the now, for others it is about an afterlife and some are trying to live better now for their next life.  Whatever the reason, we all have a path to follow. The problem is when one person decides that another person cannot be “allowed” to live their path. So they interfere.  Whether that be globally, nationally, or individually; taking away someone’s choice to live the life they have chosen results in conflict, of not allowing someone to follow their path.

So as I reflect today about my path and my desire to “Just Be,” I realize that I cannot change anything or anyone but me.  My response, my attitude and my behavior is all I have control over  (at least on a good day).  So for today, I will “Just Be.”  I will take things as they come and let them go.  I will learn what I can and be the best that I can.  I won’t always get it right, at least I have learned that much.  I will do the best that I can in that moment, though.  I will do better than I did yesterday, for I am different today; I have learned something, just as I do everyday!

One of my favorite quotes is from Mr. Rogers, and I need to remember it more often:

 “It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood!”

It WILL be in mine and, I WISH for you that it is in yours!

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Lessons of My Tree – Part 2

Spring has finally arrived!  I, like so many, am ready for the warmer temperatures and the end to the seemingly endless snowfall we have had this past winter.  I am ready to spend time outside: basking in the glorious sunshine; breathing in fresh, clean air; listening to wonderful sounds of all of Nature’s glory; and, sitting in the shade of my tree!  Yes, you heard correctly, the shade of my TREE!!!!  For those of you who haven’t read my earlier blog about my tree, please do so now, as this won’t make a lot of sense otherwise.  (   )   When I went out to fill the bird feeder earlier this week, I was very happy to see buds on the tree branches.  I went over to my tree and gave her a big hug and thanked her for hanging in there with me.  I swear I heard a sigh.  And I felt her strength.  And I’ve hugged her each day since then; and she has given me strength each day since then.  I hope I’ve given her some too.  I don’t want to take all of her strength, as I want my tree to live and to thrive; I want the “tree man” who looked at her and said she was dying to be wrong.  I want to heal her and help her to live.  And she has.

She survived the “polar vortex,”  not just once, but many times this past winter.  She stood strong against the cold and piercing winds that shook her branches.  She maintained her strength when the ice and snow clung to her and froze her over and over and over.  She clung to life and has been able to show the “polar vortex” that she is stronger than its cold wind, ice and snow.  She is a pillar of strength of what is good and just in this world.  She asks for so little, just water and air, and she gives much in return: strength, oxygen, beauty, grace, shade, healing, etc. And even through her own suffering and pain, she continues to give out all that she can, all that she knows she must, as she knows, innately, what her purpose is on the earth. And she honors that purpose.

I have spent so many years searching for the purpose to my life.  I am not sure that I have found it, however, I do think that whatever I came here to do, I have either done or it will find me, as long as I am open to it.  Maybe I am tired of searching.  Maybe I feel like searching is taking up too much of the time I could be living.  Recently, I’ve spent more time wondering what my “legacy” will be, or if I want one. I do not have children, not human ones at least, so there will be no descendants.  My fur kids are spayed or neutered, so none there either (bet most of you didn’t think of your fur-kids as descendants!)  And, considering my cultural background,  descendants is where it’s at.  My parents worked hard, saved a lot and left us, their children a tidy sum when they died.  I will not have children to pass things down to, but I will keep my parent’s things in the family; I’m big on stuff like that.  I’ve taken a financial beating to keep stuff “in the family.”   But I digress.  Again, I wonder what will be my legacy?  Will I leave any mark that I have been on this earth?  Is that even important?  I am not sure what the answers to these questions are at this point, but I am beginning to realize that my tree may hold the answers for me.

My tree’s purpose is clear: to give the earth oxygen, beauty, shade, nutrients, healing, etc.  She has, probably, never questioned her purpose on this earth since was a little sapling.  She has always, probably, known what she was born to do and she has done it with grace and strength, the way she innately knew how to do it.  So, what can she teach me about her legacy?  After all, she has no saplings that I know of;  I never let those little maple “whirligigs” grow; you know, the ones that clog your gutters and get everywhere every spring! (Although I might try to grow a few this spring, just to see what happens, you know.)

So what will she “leave behind?”  For one, there will be an enormous hole in my life.  She will not be there to wake up to each morning or to say goodnight to each evening.  I will not be able to converse with her and gain strength and wisdom from her.  The shade won’t be there in the summer and the birds will not have a place for their feeder to hang in the winter.  Her beauty will be missed by all, as many comment about how much they love my tree.  My neighbor has even asked the “tree man” how to save her; she is very loved!  There will be less oxygen to breathe because my tree is gone, although I am not sure that will be one of the things that is thought of at the time.  And I know a myriad of other ways that she will leave her mark on this world that I that escapes me. What strikes me as I write this is that once I am gone, either by moving or death, the memory of my tree will be gone also.  But I think that is the way it happens with people, too.  My parents are remembered by their children and grandchildren; but their great-grandchildren never knew them and, so, the knowledge of who they were as people, will die.  Yes, there is a tombstone for genealogists or family who want to know, but they will never really know, they can’t.  Just as no one can really know my tree.

Once again, my tree all ties everything together. My tree’s purpose is to “Just Be” and by doing so provides those that love her with the gifts that they need.  Once again, she is showing me the way, as my theme for the year is to “Just Be.”  Hopefully by doing so, I can give someone else a gift that they need.  Her legacy?  Well, I guess that is yet to be determined, as is mine, but she is teaching me…

 

Dilemma In The End Of Denial – My Tree Is Dying

I have a tree in my front yard. Not such an unusual occurrence, as many folks have one or many trees in their yards.  This tree, however is one of, if not the reason,  I bought my house.  I spend many hours each day looking at my tree, for it has many patterns in its branches and I can see faces and facial expressions in its trunk.  At times, it seems that my tree is expressing what the Universe is feeling about a decision I have made or an action I have taken (or more likely have not taken).  The branches of my tree come out as if a gentle hand is cradling all of nature’s bounty–the sun, the rain, the snow.  It’s as if they are making a bed for anyone who wants to lay within them and, for awhile, become one with their strength, beauty and absolute love.  For there, one can contemplate the absolute power and glory of nature!

As you can see, I love my tree. I can not remember ever relating to a tree like this since my childhood.  As I stood looking at my tree during this recent “polar vortex,” I watched it become blanketed in snow and I was grateful that the snow might keep it warm from the cold winds that were shaking it and making it tremble.  Then I noticed what I had perhaps been pointedly avoiding, my tree had holes in the “v’s” of it’s branches.  I thought of all the frigid air rushing in and through my beloved tree and I realized, like a dagger hitting my heart, my tree is dying.  I’ve known this in my head for over a year now; but I have lived in that wonderful state of denial, refusing to believe that it would really happen.  Yes, there were far less leaves on it last year and yes, branches have to be cut from it so they don’t fall on anyone, however, denial is a strong ally! It struck me that I cannot be in denial forever:  my tree is dying, and then the sadness enveloped me.

As I allowed myself to actually feel this sadness, I wondered: Does it hurt? We know that humans and animals often have pain and suffering during the dying process, so do trees and plants share this trait?  They are living beings also.  Do they feel embarrassed by their shabbiness in the loss of leaves and branches? Do they wish their existence to be cut short as humans do, to save their dignity?  If any of these are possible is it humane, or “treemane,” to keep it alive just because I can’t bear to part with it?  I can’t bear to think of losing its strength that I can feel even when I sit inside, or its shade that cools me on a hot summer’s day.  When I feel so weak that I can no longer fight the good fight, I only have to walk to its side and rest my hand there, and my strength is renewed.  So the dilemma remains:  Is it “treemane” to keep a tree alive because I cannot let it go?  This seems rather selfish to me.  I’ve heard other people say “you can not cut it down, it is too cool” or “it’s not hurting anything.” I understand that it is not hurting anything else, but IS IT HURTING?

You see,  I believe that everything has its own energy given by the Universe/God/Source. I believe that everything has value and worth and I do my best to honor that value and worth in my daily life.  That also means that, for me, everything is equal.  Does that mean then that I should, in compassion, euthanize my tree? Or do I allow it to die a “natural death”?  An existential question perhaps, but one that I will struggle with long after the air warms and the snow has melted.  The “polar vortex” may fade in memory, but my tree, no my tree will be with me always.  For it has been written upon my heart, just as the tree from my childhood.  I still have no answer to my question, however I am, as I write this, becoming certain that my tree will give me the answer I seek.  For just as it seems to “comment” on my decisions, give me cooling shade on hot days and strengthen me when I am weak, it will also guide me as to its own existence.