Gratitude Sunday: Forest For The Trees

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the [wo]man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” William Blake

Sunday Haiku
Branches wave with wild
abandon, lacy leaves twist,
spinning far away.

Sunday Musings
Trees are my focus this fall. I watch the tree outside my kitchen window blustered into shedding its yellowed gems. Leaves that burst into green life each spring have faded into pale green-yellow only to fall beneath as mulch. The tree volunteered in the neighbor’s yard between the fence and the shed the year after Jack built the little shed, the year he was dying from cancer.

The tree has grown these many years. Jack and Mary raised three sons and were empty nesters by the time I bought the house behind them; the new family in their house is multi-generational, and it’s nice to have a tween-ager in the neighborhood again as there are few children. Hearing her play with friends in their large back yard is listening to joyful noise. She’s growing as fast as the tree.

As the tree throws off its accessories it seems to be calling for a little trim. Her torso grows fatter over these past years and soon her trunk will be pushing the fence away or the roots will be tilting the floor of the shed. Branches hang so low from her now one must duck one’s head to mow the lawn. She knows her time here is limited. For a few years yet she can provide some shade from the evening sun for this home that relies on natural air conditioning and heat control.

Her branches hang low with the weight of growing in a space too small, forcing her to distort herself to fit. She is a misfit. Her roots are bound with mothers far away in the yard; they too know she will soon outgrow her space and reach an expiration date. For a short while yet the mothers will support her, while I lighten her load with my handy pruning shears before the wind rips in for the assist.

If I were a master recycler, like my beloved departed uncle, I would cut the branches and twigs into paper bag sizes and dry them in my shed to use as fire starters for the fireplace or woodstove. I don’t have a functional outside shed for the drying, nor a fireplace for the burning.

If I were an artist or a crafter I could find a way to recycle the twigs and branches into dolls or wreaths or some other creative Martha Stewart type gidgey. My mother would have made turkeys or gold sparkled Christmas ornaments with red lace and silver ribbons added.

I will fill the green bin with the bits and pieces of her that she is willing for me to trim, working with my five minute work windows, the rain, and the permission of the tree.

The neighbor in the house in front of me had a tree, some sort of maple I think, removed this spring. I waited through twenty years of anxiety about the wrong wind storm and the damage the tree might cause to several houses. It wasn’t “my” tree. The professional tree monkeys (no offense meant, as these guys were totally professional) had the tree down in two days. That’s a lot of tree. The maple was hugely too large for the space, it needed to go before it caused massive damage, but I miss filling my eyes with the green of her.

I haven’t identified the tree in the back yet. She gives me shade on the south end of the house in the summer, bursts of green in the spring, sweeps of yellow in October, the most brilliant month of the year. She’s not quite naked enough to endure the pruning yet; I’ll be cutting into her, so I expect her to tell me when she’s ready.

She is also a part of my squirrel highway. A neighbor up the block took out six trees about eight years ago, and the squirrel population increased in my neighbor’s trees. I will be aware of squirrels going freeway speed dodging my pruning shears.

One of my plums split a couple winters back when ice froze in a vee between trunks. Plum also needs a delicate trimming. I love the look and feel of entering the Batcave coming down my driveway with the tree arched over the entry, but if I don’t cut, Plum is going to commit suicide all over my driveway and the entire Batcave effect will be lost. She’ dying so fast she won’t care if I cut her enough to fill up the green bin every week.

I wait between rainstorms. With no rain boots, I wear a pair of need-to-be-discarded-anyway-sneakers. I grieve days past when I risked being barefoot, before being cut, stickered, scratched by blackberry vines, stung by bees, and ripped open by rocks. Now I protect my feet. The trees seem to mind less about being cut when it’s damp, or misty, or even when it’s raining. Skies are crying; trees are weeping colors; I’m sad. I’m grieving the tree that was, the change that is in progress; I’m sad for change but know it is as inevitable as growth.

I wait. I wait for the right day, the light rain. I wait for the trees’ permission, for their compliance. I wait for them to tell me now is the time. It’s up to the trees.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Autumn colors line the street by the local farmers market. Magenta and topaz gems lie on the wrought iron grate at the foot of the sidewalk tree. An autumn blooming azalea, pink and burgundy. Backyard tree enjoying her little wild space while carpeting the lawn with yellow.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Stephanie Daley (2006, rated R), with Amber Tamblyn and Tilda Swinton. ***Trigger warning: rape and stillbirth*** After reading Tamblyn recently I had to see her acting, and I like Swinton. I was not disappointed with the story or their performances. A sixteen year old woman who claims she didn’t know she was pregnant delivers at 23 weeks, is accused of concealing her pregnancy and murdering her infant. Alas, no subtitles, and indefinite sound quality. * Binged through the first season of Killing Eve (2018, rated TV – 14) with Sandra Oh as a detective who discovers a woman serial assassin and while tracking the assassin finds she becomes the prey. * Thousand Pieces of Gold (1990, rated PG – 13), directed by Nancy Kelly. In the 1880s a young Chinese woman is sold for marriage but instead finds herself shipped to America and fending for her life in Idaho mining towns. * Gun Crazy (1950, not rated), a black and white in the film noir style. A crack shot falls in love with a woman who coerces him into a life of crime.

Currently ReadingWhat’s Not Yours Is Not Yours (2016, short stories) by Helen Oyeyemi. Oyeyemi has an artist’s eye to wefting words and stories of culture into fantastic tapestries warped with everyday experiences with the supernatural in a way that feels entirely within the realm of reality. * Advice for Future Corpses (and those who love them):A Practical Perspective on Death and Dying (2018, death, terminal care) by Sallie Tisdale, a Portland, Oregon author. Tisdale has worked in the end-of-life health care professions and gives us some poetic prose for thought on the serious and profound topics of death and grief, which none of us escape.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • A birthday fairy who gifted and delivered new holiday dressings for my table.
  • A classic book by Cicely Mary Barker about flower fairies from my sis.
  • Discovering art I love.
  • Delighting in how much I don’t know and how much is out there to learn.
  • New fine point drawing pens.
  • Discovering how much I missed my drawing pens when they all died at once.
  • Knowing it’s just an anxiety attack and I will not die without art pens.
  • Knowing art pens are available any time I am able to buy them at several local stores.
  • Finding a couple like-new laundry bins at Goodwill for a quarter of retail.
  • The hubster taking down the hillbilly shade on the front window in a timely fashion, and now I get the lovely autumn light in the afternoon.
  • A box of fat figs with the most delicious shades of magenta and pink inside.
  • Buttery Comice pears.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Art, Entertainment, Gardening, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Homemaking, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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