Bare branches shiver in the roaring winter wind; air heavy with blowing snow, the sun dimmed, sky heavy with impenetrable clouds. All the world softened, hazy and indistinct.
Pitiless wind ripping and tearing across the land, scouring everything in its path. Wind forming snow into drifts of sculptural beauty near buildings, fences, trees, shrubs. Like smoke from a furious fire, snow pours from roof peaks and slopes.
All perennial rooted beings sleep under the cold blanket. Their life retreats inward to the roots, waiting for spring to rise again, oblivious to the wind and cold and the shifting drifts covering all the land.
All fur bearers are safe within their burrows or weather tight nests, snuggled together for warmth. Winter birds fluff their feathers under cover, cold blooded creatures hibernate in their earthy dens, sleeping deeply beneath the frozen mud.
Dear ones, remember the wonder you felt as a child your face pressed to the icy window, watching the snowstorm rage, joyful at the school cancellation?
You were safe and warm in your lighted house, watching the fury unfold outside, feeling the fierce beauty, the raw power of wind and snow.
Last week a furious wind and rain storm tore through this place destroying and damaging many in our beloved community of trees.
The sound of chainsaws is heard in the land.
Huge piles of brush line roads and streets. Centenarian hackberries that have towered over this shady neighborhood split in two, others broke at the crown. Mighty oaks toppled, evergreens twisted, silver maples torn apart, wild cherries maimed, red buds missing vital limbs…
It is time to mourn our lost companions. Yes, this is another great loss in a year of many losses.
The scars of this storm will last for a long time in our land, in our hearts and spirits, but we (by which I mean all living things) will endure. We will heal. The spirit of the land endures as nature regenerates and reinvents herself.
And later this fall, dear humans, after a time of healing it will be fitting to plan for the future by planting many young trees. Yes, this will be an exercise in patience. In this way you can continue to nurture and care for those who will come after you and care for the Earth.
Even after you and your loved ones have passed into the light those who are now infants those not yet conceived will one day delight in the cool shade, the towering grace, the shifting sun and shadow, the brilliant fall color, the heavenly fragrance, the spring blossoms of a healthy community of trees.
Plant new trees this fall and make our world more beautiful, more livable, a true home for all.
I am perfectly attuned to my chosen patch of Earth, my rooted place, my real estate, my home. I’ve gone all-in, set up camp, sent my roots deep, made a commitment.
I may be here longer than the longest human lifespan, so I must make my peace with my choice of growing site, make the best of it, learn to love it.
To survive I must be flexible with the changes happening around my patch of earth and sky. If I am brittle and rigid, I might snap in two during a heavy windstorm, losing limbs right and left.
To survive, my roots must reach deep, for shallow roots would not hold my weight or counterbalance my majestic limbs, and I would topple in weather conditions that would undermine and weaken me.
I have made my stand, sent down roots, taken my place among the community of trees, knowing my interconnections with all the living beings of this place – those who rely on sunlight, water, earth, and air for their lives.
Whatever happens, I stand strong and tall. I carry out my purpose; reach to the light and root to the Earth, my home.