Thursday, June 20, 2013

in which I try not to draw pithy conclusions too quickly

The wind throws its invisible self through space and time, tumbling anything light and loose, buffeting the leaves and grasses. The leaves and grasses, themselves, are lush and tall and green from days and days of rain; their shimmering lifefulness illuminates even more vividly the wind's power to bend.

The trees are not yet breaking. 

I sit typing at a window in a small room that waits, as I wait, for the arrival of a tiny baby. Really, it is a guest room and study--for months the baby will room with us, and this little space will house the precious people who will come long distances to greet our child and care for us. It also holds my writing desk, a fitting layering of the life that builds itself up around me, writer and scholar and welcomer and mother. How I long to do all these things well. How I long to live well in the tensions between the various directions my love must aim itself. 

For this very present moment, my love aims itself at a tall, thin tree outside the window. Weeks ago it flowered, but now it is only leafy, with what look from a distance like small stems of tiny green berries. The leaves are both green and mauve (is this healthy?) ... I do not know what sort of tree it is. I know that it is young but tall, thin like an adolescent who has shot up without filling out, pants suddenly six inches too short. 

I want to go outside and wrap this tree in a protective hug. I want to sink a strong stake into the ground beside it and tie the tree to that stronger wind-resister. At points the tree bends over nearly forty-five degrees in the brutal gusts. It doesn't seem even to try to resist, just gives its skinny self over to the invisible force that pushes it. 

But this windy prairie place is where the tree lives. (It is where I live.) The scrappy adult trees I see further beyond are a reminder that to grow strong in this place, to grow well, one must learn to bend with the wind, learn to bow to it and then return to an upright stance. If the young tree can withstand this whipping, it will grow and withstand the next. 

The lesson is plain and not unfamiliar. It is just particularly concrete today, mere meters from my eyes. Oh, to be such a tree.

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