I called it the Mother Earth Tree. Its gnarled branches reached to the heavens while its roots grounded in the earth. Its ancient wisdom remained hidden beneath its bark. What had it seen in the more than one hundred years since it was a seedling? How many creatures had it housed near the banks of the Cimarron River?
My husband left me in the pickup with the dog. He was meeting a friend at the Cimarron River near Langston this week to discuss and upcoming trip. While admiring the Oklahoma landscape, I put my little “city dog” on her leash and we walked the cow pasture. There in the cow path was an especially old and beautiful tree. Walking around it, I began to image all that it had seen in its long life.
I wondered how old the tree was – its branches almost touched the ground and its roots ran deep to the water table below. The ground was sugar sand in many places in the Cimarron valley. A place known for droughts and floods – but still the tree had survived for probably close to a century.
I began to think that tree was no different than most women I know – strong, protecting and long lasting. Our bodies become gnarled with age but we remain steadfast and enduring as we protect those we love, leaving ourselves last. We reach to the heavens for help as we resolutely cling to the earth, our roots running deep for nourishment, all the while offering shelter to those who need it.
The beautiful tree was not new. But, it accentuated the idea of finding something new for me. Each spring that tree is renewed with leaves and branches. If it withers others will wither with it. It must remain strong and continue its renewal for itself and those it shelters.
We could take a lesson from the tree. What can you do this week to renew your body, mind or spirit? How can you thrive and protect those you love as you continue in your quest for a full life for yourself? Let me know your thoughts.