One cut in such a way it is no longer meant to grow when Spring arrives. Another one cut, yet closer inspection shows opportunity for offshoots to thrive. And a third – a trio – far enough from the trail, they did not require trimming.
I started thinking about people I know who are walking with grief. Those “sudden” moments of life that change everything. Some people knew that loss was waiting in the wings. They were preparing, and yet, found reality meant one is never ready. A void, a cut so deep. To their core, joy’s thief.
The day that signifies before and no longer the same becomes an anniversary. Like a ritual or tradition, less the celebrating. I also can’t help thinking of how loss grows in intensity; holidays are the accelerator to quickly reach grief. As I stood taking these pictures I thought of a now orphaned family. Children whose mother is now an angel above must feel a lot like this cut tree.
Perhaps at one point before Cancer knocked on their door, they felt like the trees unscathed. Growing tall, strong, invincible, protected from life’s mower blades. Then one “sudden” moment they gained a house guest who chose to come and go but not completely leave. Sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, treatment and remission now part of their family vocabulary. A journey beside a brave mother who strived to evict this roommate from her body’s home. Brave, too, her soul as it gently whispered it’s okay to let go.
I look at this middle tree that has been cut seeing it has a choice to make. It can focus on what is no longer growing or it can choose to grow in new ways. Maybe it will always be fragile or maybe it will become stronger because it has been sliced. Maybe it will branch out in directions it wouldn’t have otherwise tried.
Maybe these three views are demonstrating a journey in healing. One starts out feeling cut at the base, one’s life stopped mid-stream. Then one begins to feel they are in between, looking up at what once was and looking down at what could be. And then, over time, one is growing again, ever so slight yet steadily.
I stand quietly looking at these young saplings with a wish into space. That the dear children now with their mom an angel above become these flourishing trees someday.