Split Like a Tree

You weren’t going to write a blog today, for the New Year coming in, and for the old one leaving. Everybody’s recording their year on the eve of its end. Today just feels like another day; you’re tired. However, it was warm, cloudy, and your kids really needed some outdoor activity. You did too. Your mother, brother daughter, son, and you went on a hike.

You often have feelings like you could just stop, or you’re going to slow and stop soon, your body will refuse to move anymore, or move slowly, or you’ll start limping, or a sharp pain will go off in your ankle, or in your head. All the little random firing nerve signals can be quite distracting, and make you feel very unsure. Its difficult to start a two mile hike when you aren’t quite sure if your body will just go out in the middle. You bring a couple of cannabis vape pens, because if you didn’t do it part way through the walk, you wouldn’t be able to get back to the car without someone helping you extensively.

You maybe walked a little too far today, but you would be tired either way; if you did walk, if you didn’t walk. On hikes the kids like to stop, to look at something interesting. You ask them if you can pass by because you fear if you stop moving, you won’t be able to start again. You hold this in your mind, but luckily your senses are also flooded by distraction. The beauty and enchantment of what you see, and the sensations in filtered through numbish feet. Balance the positive, and the negative. Walk, move.

This area of North Carolina was heavily logged in the early 20th century, and most of the trees are secondary growth, but there are some ancients on the trial.

One old oak tree looked as if it had been struck by lightening early on. Its truck was cracked in two, but it kept growing. It grew up towards the sky. You needed to strain your necks back to see the top. The other half grew from the crack, extending down the mountain a ways, to a narrow place where it sleeps for the winter. It will wake again in the spring and continue to grow up, and grow down, and up again.

Yet it grows, up, down, and up again..

Looking at this tree gave you comfort. Something gravely wrong happened to this tree; threatened its existence and forever altered its path, but it still lives, and it still grows. May you be the tree. Keep growing, in ways you may not have, without the trauma that split you. You still live, and grow; up, down, and up again.

May God be with you til we meet again. Happy New Year!

Thank you Mom and Jonny for taking the kids and I for a hike.

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