Saturday, October 9, 2010

Like Water For Trees

Here's the post I didn't post from our week away due to the serious lack of connectivity.  And my lazy self.  Just lazying around. Now I'm sticking it in here to plump up the content, while I scramble to write more.  Writing more.  Writing more now.

We're at the Ripley Yippee this weekend -- the Fifth Annual Get Together of Bill's high school friends. And their spouses who aren't high school friends, but are friends by association and cumulative Yippee experiences.  This year we've congregated at Bonnie and Jim's in Hendersonville, NC. 

Now, look.  By the time you get around to reading this, if ever, we'll be back home.* And besides John is there.  And Cujo is there.  And Cujo has his gun.  So don't bother going all "WooHoo!  Ann and Bill are out of town.  Let's go steal their collection of diced tomatoes from Costco!"  

Really.  Don't mess with Cujo when he's armed.  You'll be sorry.

Oops, I got busy caveating and lost the train.  Which is trees.

From the moment we slipped out of the mainstream and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, we have been surrounded and enveloped by trees.  You know how I am about big water.  I'm almost that way about big trees.  There's something about a tree that has grown untouched for decades -- watered by cloud-fog and sustained by seasons of silence.  Something powerful.  Something true. 

They are beings. 

They don't talk.  They don't judge.  They have no opinions.  No regrets.  Their history flows in a slow river of sap and encircles the core of them in rings that mark the passage of their time.  Big, old, tall trees call us to order by their presence. Admonish us with their silence.  Invite us to share in a dream that is not human, neither right nor wrong, not kind or unkind. By their presence they heal us of distraction.

Right about there's where I stopped cursing the No Service messages and gave up.  Here's what I'd add.  (In addition to "Ha!  We're home and our tomatoes are safe and we've taken Cujo's gun away.  Who wants to live with an armed cat anyhow?")

It remains to be said that  I loved hanging out at Bonnie's, using the excuse (entirely valid) of my knees as refuge from outings and exercise, enjoying the company of trees.  And the blessed balm of stillness when only the hush-hush whisper of leaves and the cries of birds can be heard.

On our way home, we stopped at Pipestem State Park in West Virginia.  Where the trees are bigger and more silently present.  Where the mountains themselves are alive but not talking about it.  That was good, too.

Now we're glad to be home.

*How prophetic this turned out to be!  

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