I want you to know what you might call the joy, expansion and contentment I feel rooted to my home and reaching for the sun, moon and stars.
It is my life’s work to grow to full mature height, to put out new leaves and bead-like fruits containing numberless seeds each spring, to be fully present in my physical being, to inhabit my allotment of earth and sky, to pull in nourishment from soil and sunlight, rain and air.
This life is all I know, the seasons changing, the weather moving across my valley, wind storms and lightning, torrential rain, or mist, heat and cloudless summer days.
My leaves, shimmering in the breeze, turning golden as the sun dips toward the south, each one released in its time, thousands of them forming a brown carpet at my roots, enriching the soil that feeds me.
Now the late summer slides moment by moment into fall… fall into winter… Soon, I will know the deep rest, renewal, and quiet of winter. I welcome this time of release…
Yes, I have lost branches, they’ve rotted, fallen away and thumped heavily into the soft earth at my roots… I let them go without regret… My crown is thinner now, down to the essence of what is needed for life. No more, no less.
Until I am ready to release life itself, I shall continue stand here with patience, knowing and welcoming every creature that shelters with me; knowing those that fly above and burrow below, those 6 legged crawlers and spinners that live in my bark, the scaly ones that slide silently through the underbrush, the fur bearers that visit, the winged ones large and small that nest in my branches or perch momentarily on my crown day and night. I know their songs, their colors, their habits, I know the grip of their tiny claws, the vibration of the beat of their wings.
I know intimately those rooted ones in our community – the grasses, thistles, oak, locust, sycamore, the sunflowers, goldenrod, the cone-flower, the milkweed the Queen Anne’s Lace… there are too many to name… our roots, stems, and branches interweave, our energies overlap – we are a living neighborhood. We know and communicate with each other. We thrive together!