To Be More Like a Tree

Sunlight filters through the leaves of the trees surrounding this uninhabited cabin in which I sit. Looking out of the screen door that opens onto a porch, the different shades of green of leaves and the gentle breezes through the trees soothe my soul. I take refuge here from my own cabin, a constant reminder of how much I need to do to be ready for the changing seasons, especially if I intend to get through another ten years living on my own out here in these woods, assuming I actually live that long.

Solitude is a good thing in many ways, yet there are days that I wish I had a partner, or partners with whom to share this place, this way of living, so full of potential yet so demanding of anyone with preconceived ideas as to how one must live. I must have quite a few preconceived ideas as to how I should be living, as I am always trying to figure out what to do.

I wish I were more like a tree. Why can I not be more like the trees? Trees are unconcerned with the trashed branches and deep layers of leaves that litter the ground about their roots. They just stay in their spots, reaching for the sun, swaying with the breezes, drinking in the water when it rains, allowing life to live on their bark and lite on their branches, the lichen, the insects, the birds. The tree stands alone, with its roots running underground; they intertwine with the roots of other trees, in communication. There is never any discrimination toward new saplings sprouting. The seed drops, sprouts, and grows; new and old trees live together.

Man comes along and fells any trees he wishes in order to make room for himself, to use the cleared area on which to build a cabin or a grand house. We did this here 28 years ago, and for what? Those who felled all the trees, erecting questionably built cabins, (we were all inexperienced, first-time builders) all left after a while, leaving behind unwanted trash and accumulated stuff for which nobody took responsibility. Having invested every bit of myself in this endeavor, I am alone now, clinging to the initial impetus to create something lasting that my children might rediscover. Neither of them are attracted to this place, and they do not value me as a great example for how one might live. I am doing my best to not give up, on how to nurture myself and the environment in which I live.

I never did much roaming, but I experienced enough of life in a city to see that it was not for me. Here, I experience Life, with or without fellow humans, grateful to have a place of refuge from the storm. Alone, fundamentally I know that I am not, for I still have lines of communication with which to reach out. Whether or not I am heard, or communication is reciprocated, each new day brings what is and I still live. I pick up the trash left here by others, sift through my own decades worth of possessions, eliminating as much as I can, so that when I transition out of this dimension I will not be leaving too much useless stuff.

My hope is to create something worthy of Life, recognizable as a place of love, a part of Creation that was always meant to be, for perpetuity. Like a tree, I welcome new life, breathe the clean air of these mountains, feel the breezes. Blessed by the sun and the rain and dark star-filled nights of peaceful sleep, when the dawn comes as my dreaming fades, I reluctantly open my eyes. The trees are the first beings I see. A poem comes to mind, I say it aloud:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e e cummings


Were I a tree, I would not have a care, but I am not, thus I care way too much. Perhaps this is why I fantasize about living more like a tree. The fact is, I am Man, in female form, getting older and worn. One day I may fall but until then, I will keep on reaching out, seeking out those who might wish to live free, creating a grounding place to be, much like the trees.

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