Sunday, February 7, 2016

Child of the Forest.

Since I can remember, trees have always been my source of strength.

Their roots, like the fingers of a child digging through fresh garden soil in search of slimy, wiggly worms. Their yellow-green leaves cupped like hands ready for communion, an eager palm ready to receive salvation’s greatest promise. Their branches spread wide with little predictability, like the legs of a spider moving meticulously through time and space creating a wild masterpiece against the backdrop of blue sky. The texture of their bark always surprises me, rough and rigid, but never without a story.

Trees are my strength, my bedrock against the storm of life.

I remember leaning against a magnolia tree, turning my white Sunday dress into my mother’s worst nightmare the day I got confirmed for church. The second the camera flashed, I blew an enormous bubble from my one-hour-too-many strawberry flavored gum, and I knew the tree was laughing with me.

I remember the bright, golden-sun yellow tree that leaned over our street in my neighborhood, always protecting, always saying hello to the walkers, the dogs, and especially the children. I was trapped in a love war with that tree. No matter what happened, I couldn’t go a day in fall without staring at her ever-evolving color and smiling.

The year of the tornado was the year we lost that tree.
I will never forget her.

I remember the reckless trees of Baton Rouge with branches like I had never laid eyes on before. My brothers wanted the gumbo, the shrimp, and everything else on those Louisiana trips to see Granny.

All I wanted were the trees.

And the Redwood beauties of my year away in Northern California. I swear they whispered secrets to me on my long and windy runs up those rainy, mossy mountains.

Whispers like,
I love you.”
Come this way.”
You are the child of the forest.”

Trees are my strength, my forever friends.

Always steady, always kind.

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