Monday, July 9, 2012

sycamore wounds

The storms come.  They never ask, just come--bringing their wild and wondrous winds.  And sometimes they take what I wish they would leave.  A few weeks ago the strong winds took another limb out of my Sycamore Tree.  Yesterday Gene pulled the fallen limb from the tree.  I sat beside the tree's relic this morning and thought about how much I have loved this tree. Soon the fallen branch  will be shredded for mulch.  It will keep on giving. 
In spite of all it has been through the Sycamore tree looks lovely in the summer.  Its huge, lush green leaves hide the wounds, and as for wounds, it has had its share. When winter comes that's another story.  Its jagged broken branches, its wounds and scars are so obvious when the leaves are gone.
 There are times when I am momentarily tempted to carry the cedar swing across the campus to the huge Sycamore tree near our labyrinth that seems to  have weathered the storms better.

  Of course I change my mind quickly because you see I am married to this tree.  I will stay with it through the storms just as I would hope to stay with all the beautiful people who pass through my life---through thick and thin, joys and sorrows, good seasons and harsh seasons.
In the process of writing about the broken limbs a friend sent me a poem that I cannot refrain from sharing.

Tree Marriage
By William Meredith
In Chota Magpur and Bengal
The betrothed are tied with threads to
mango trees, they marry the trees
as well as one another, and
the two trees marry each other.
Could we do that some time with oaks,
or beeches?  This gossamer we
hold each other with, this web
of love and habit is not enough.
In mistrust of heavier ties,
I would like the tree-siblings for us,
standing together somewhere, two
trees married with us, lightly, their
fingers barely touching in sleep,
our threads invisible but holding.
“Tree Marriage” by William Merdith,
From Effort at Speech.  ©Northwestern University Press, 1997

I very much like the suggestion that we hold each other by a thread, lightly.  It means that we do not cling and clutch, demand and bind, grasp and control.   We honor the truth that we are connected and it is a connection that respects one another.  How much we can learn from the trees.  Like them, we go on giving even after we die.

Find a tree to marry~~~
~~or maybe  you already have one.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Peace for our land and for yours!

To wish you peace this day I offer you
Stephen Mitchell's version of Psalm 121

I look deep into my heart,
to the core where wisdom arises.

Wisdom comes from the Unnamable
and unifies heaven and earth.
The Unnamable is always with you,
shining from the depths of your heart.
His peace will keep you untroubled
even in the greatest pain.
When you find him present within you,
you find truth at every moment.
He will guard you from all wrongdoing;
he will guide your feet on his path.
He will temper your youth with patience;
he will crown your old age with fulfillment.
And dying, you will leave your body
as effortlessly as a sigh.

From A Book of Psalms, trans, and adapted by Stephen Mitchell