the longer i look at this tree, thin and bare from winter, crusted in a layer of snow and ice, yet elegant against the stark, white background, the more i contemplate why i am drawn to it. it is one of those images that you tag from the beginning, but then you doubt it, question it’s beauty and power - its usefulness. but each time i looked at it, and began to make it my own, it grew in stature. it kept quietly beckoning me to look again. where is it’s value, what could it become? why is it different from others?
and this morning, over coffee, looking out the window at the monochromatic winter landscape, contemplating the turn of another calendar year, i realized. that blank white background feels like the coming year. full of possibilities, uncertainties, fear and wonder. a blank palette that i cannot see into, yet it will reveal itself in time.
and the tree, rests quietly, taking what the season gives it, gathering it’s energy for the time to grow and become strong..again. it is a familiar cycle, and it evolves each time. it gains years and strength, but also marks and bruises from time passed. those events leave lasting marks and also determine the direction and condition of new growth. it is strong under the weight, balancing what mother nature hands it, delicately, beautifully, gracefully. yet sometimes it breaks, and repairs itself, and continues. and from this outside view i am unable to see what happenings lurk within its hard exterior, planning, evolving, growing, changing, understanding.
i forget what you look like when you are flourishing. i forget what fruit you bear and it’s sweet or bitter taste. i forget the shade you offer and the blanket of petals in the soft grass, as your delicate leaves and blossoms move in the gentle breeze. but i sense your strength and power and importance, and i am transfixed somehow by the changes you endure, and your growth and beauty with each of these changes. and if i tire of you, or neglect you, i always come back to honoring you. you remain rooted and still reach your branches to the sky.
and i knew, little tree, you fascinate me because you and i are the same.