Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Tree

Everyday I spend some time sitting on my couch looking out of this window. I think about a lot of things while I sit there. Often times my thoughts turn to that tree in my yard.

Mr. Macchiato and I came here in July of 2002 looking for a home to buy. We could have bought a brand new home but I wanted to be in a neighborhood that had trees. I have always loved trees.

Our first year here we noticed something very odd about this tree. Like other trees, its leaves changed color in the fall. However, its leaves did not drop. I found this to be quite annoying. I wanted my tree to be like all the other trees in the neighborhood.

Several years ago we had a blizzard hit early in the fall. The leaves had not even turned on the tree yet... even though most of the other trees had already done so and lost their leaves. We heard the tree break. It was very loud and we were very upset.

Even though I was not happy with the tree, I did not want to lose it.

The tree had split through the middle and many of the branches were broken. We did not see how it could survive but rather than cut it down, we decided to do what we could.

Mr. Macchiato pulled the main trunk back together with hose clamps and cut the tree way back.

The leaves turned and they did not fall. Each spring we always think that the tree is dead. All the other trees sprout green leaves while our tree stubbornly holds on to its dead leaves. Eventually, the leaves are blown away by the last of the spring storms.
Our tree then stands naked and exposed.

The wounds from the catastrophic blizzard are evident. The hose clamps that have held the trunk together now restrict the trunk and it bulges around the clamps.
It makes me think of events that happen in our lives that we survive but that in some ways still hold us back.

And even though we are held together, those scars still remain.

And those areas that cannot recover. They are cut from us and gone forever.

In time and through tears we learn to start growing again...

Sometimes it is a very slow process. Slower than those around us think it should take.
Sometimes when we are watching someone else we get frustrated with them as they struggle to recover and forget how hard it is.

Sometimes we hang on to those dead leaves to avoid our hurts being visible to others. We don't like to be vulnerable.
I've thought of my tree often while going through some trouble with our children. At one point I was very frustrated with one of them and remembered that I knew nothing of what was going on inside... new life may be stirring deep down and it may just be a couple more storms before the old leaves are blown away. Just as I've needed people to be patient with me, I need to be patient with them.
I am not the keeper of time and it is not my place to say how and when things should occur.

My tree did not sprout leaves until mid June this year.

It is once again full and green and beautiful. And the sun shines brightly through its leaves.

We do not all go through the same seasons in the same ways. Some of us are full of scars. Even so, our lives can still be made into something beautiful.


paul mitchell said...

That is such a lovely story. I am about to go put some pipe clamps around my son's throat, tighten them until his eyes bulge, and see if he grows leaves, too.

noexcuses said...

That was wonderful! Thanks for the reminder that we don't all have our seasons at the same time.

We have a tree that only drops it's leaves a week or two before the new leaves come in! It's frustrating because it blocks our view of the common grounds.

My "special" teen waits until the steam is coming out of my ears, and then she spits out some amazing life concept and how it would make us better people! And, dog-gone-it if she isn't right on!

Thanks for sharing - great post!

Anonymous said...

This was such a beautiful post and very right on. I loved it and it touched home.We are not put on earth to ask why. And we cannot control anyone or anything but our own selves.The trees will,in time heal. And so will the kids,if we just let them and be patient. Doris

Laura ~Peach~ said...

should that binding be made looser? mike says it will kill the tree eventually...i dunno cause i dont know trees like that... and i had to go back a post cause blogger issues ... and i laughed till i cried cause i recall that original post and it is just as great as it was the first time around...
love you coffee bean!

jojo said...

beautiful post...I love your tree..;p

Junebug said...

Quite poignant.

Karen Deborah said...

Poignant is the word, you can write very powerful pieces at times, straight from the heart. Loosen the grip on both the tree and the child...

AmusedMomma said...

As always, very poignant, insightful and full of wisdom.

Chris H said...

What a truly lovely post chick! Lots of thought has gone into it... and I really loved it.{{{HUGS}}}

hanagrace said...

Coffee Bean! You made me cry. What a sweet picture this paints. I often see correlations to life in nature... I'm finally back on my blog reading schedule. :-) Life has been hectic. Anyway, so great to read something you've written (finally) again. I hope you get a good laugh out of my latest. That is so true, what you said about wounds in the past.

Trisha said...

You have such a wonderful way of putting things! I will never look at tree the same way again!

Sandi McBride said...

Okay, now this was deep. It made me think...and the beauty of it is, it was beautifully put without being preachy...thanks for the reminder that we never know what goes on in another persons life...what a gift!
your tree is beautiful!