Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yesterday's green

Last night the wind blew a
great deal of the remaining leaves from the trees
surrounding our house.

Our yard is inches deep
in yesterday's green.

Soon we will use our leaf blower
to gather them up in piles
and send them whirling down the revine.
If we leave them laying on the ground,
they will rot and our grass will die.

This process is vital to new growth.
In order for new tender green buds to appear
with the warming sun,
the old must be stripped away.
Dead and falling to the ground below,
the old leaf is serving it's
final purpose in the circle of life.

Sometimes I am the wind
blowing strong against the things
that need to fall.
Assisting in the emergence of newness.

Sometimes I am the tree,
being tossed and beaten
until the dead things fall away.
Until I am prepared for
bearing new fruit.

A time or two I have been the leaf,
my influence being pulled from
another for a greater purpose.

I've also been the leaf blower
encouraging another to disguard the dead and rotting
in order to preserve new life.

All four bring a degree of discomfort.
Being a relentless catalyst for change,
being stripped of yesterday's success,
being necessarily removed
for the greater good
or holding the wind steady
long enough for the ground to be free
are all uncomfortable places to be.
All require focused effort,
and all of them are necessary
for new growth.
Each an important process in achieving the next
crop of fruit.
Through pain comes life for
there is no Spring without a Fall.

Rev. 21:5
"Behold, I am making all things new!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Trappings of Childhood.....

Most trees don't have names beyond Elm
or Dogwood or Pine.
But ours does.

Most trees don't hold within their branches

the echo of laughter

and the enchantment of childhood,
but ours does.

Most trees aren't marked by
carefully carved proclaimations
of generations of love.
But ours is.
The "Love Tree" isn't just any other tree.
It's ours.
She still stands in an untouched lot with houses built all around her.
She is a symbol that we were there.
That we ran through those woods,
our pigtails trailing behind us
our arms outstretched in the wind.
She still stands
and we still remember
the innocence and wonderment
of our childhood.

Across the woods stands another grouping of trees.
These held no inscriptions of love,
but were the support for our tree house.

My brother Jason and I
spent countless hours hammering nails
into wood and constructing our
magnificent two story tree house.

Our cousins Leah, Scott and Carrie
can also stake a claim here as
they are responsible for more than one nail
in those wooden planks
and more than a million
romps through those woods.

The rope from our swing still
hangs from branches that have grown taller
just as we have.

What a treat it was to retrace the paths of the past
with my brother leading the way.
Rediscovery is one of the best parts of leaving things behind.
Reliving joyful moments is a priceless gift.

As we left Wilson's woods that day
I could almost hear the ferns and ivy calling out to us,
because they were once filled with magic.
"Come back! Be carefree
and get lost in your imagination again!"
I wonder,
how can one stand growing up and leaving
the delight of childhood behind?
The answer is simple:
Embrace the stories of days gone by
and find the best moments to tuck away in your heart
so that you can retell them to your
children and watch their eyes fill with the same
fascination that once captivated you.
In this way,
you will never really grow up
not in your heart.
In the words of Captain Hook:
"Growing up is such barbarous business,
full of inconvenience....
and pimples!"
First tree to the right and straight on til morning!