There’s this tree on my property we call the Miracle Tree. Well, it’s actually four different trees growing out of one huge, very old cedar stump: a birch, a cedar, a hemlock, and a Douglas fir. They are all about the same height and I guess them to be about fifteen to twenty years old; evenly spaced, each of them finding nourishment and strength in the remains of what was at one time a four- to five-hundred-year-old ancient cedar. The base has recently begun to fall apart to allow the root systems of the four trees to grow. On one side, the crack has splintered enough to reveal that the root structure of the birch and the hemlock have intertwined, making it hard to distinguish which one is which. If I look closely, I see spider webs and a small burrow. In the crook of an upper branch on the birch tree, a black headed wren has made a nest.
The Miracle tree provides a certain comfort every time I walk past it. “Hey, there,” I say, as if the tree might surprise me and talk back someday. “See you guys are still getting along.”
Heat radiates through my chest and I feel a certain sense of weightlessness, thankful that these natural things exist in a world where getting along seems harder and harder these days. The trees don’t have views or opinions or judgments or allegiances to one endeavor or another. They just grow together, collecting sustenance from an ancient source, swaying in the wind, providing shelter for a bird or a mouse. And also a sense of well-being for an elderly lady walking in the forest.
Solace in remembering what I learned in first grade: how to play nicely in the sandbox with my classmates.
How did you find solace this week?
© 2021. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved