Saturday, January 15, 2011

The soul of a tree~

Sometimes a thing can be right in front of you, but you just don’t notice it for some reason—too busy, too distracted, or maybe there is something else that catches your eye instead.

I’ve driven by this willow countless times in the past thirty years… and never once noticed it—not enough to have it register ... as anything special, anyway. Just an ordinary weeping willow among others on the edge of a lake.

If I saw it at all, I looked beyond it at the view of the sparkling lake, reflecting the life on its shores, the island in the middle, and of course, jet skis, motorboats, and kids fishing on the banks.

But in the midst of a recent snowstorm that was busy erasing all familiar landmarks--including the lake--the tree stood alone against a background of white. I saw it—really SAW it--for the first time. How had I never noticed this tree with its delicate, graceful branches spread protectively over its two small companions?

Despite the fact that it was snowing heavily, and plows were fighting to keep roads clear for those of us who needed to get batteries because the power was out, I slowed, then turned around and went back to look … and of course take pictures.

The next day I drove back to see my tree, but the lake was back, and there was a car parked at the end of the driveway. The tree was nothing special. Just an ordinary weeping willow among others on the edge of a lake.

But I know it’s not ordinary. I’ve seen its soul. I'll look for it now whenever I drive by. It'll join the rest of MY trees that I "visit" as I drive or walk through town.

-----

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines. ~Henry David Thoreau

8 comments:

sc morgan said...

Lovely picture, Ruth. Isn't it nice when that moment of true awareness strikes? I love it, and it's one of the reasons I've had so much fun this January doing the River of Stones project (http://preview.tinyurl.com/22o4pbb). I know I will continue this beyond January because it makes me really look, using all my senses. It's nice to see you blogging again, by the way. I missed you while you were gone.

Wanda said...

Ruth any time we can touch the soul of God Creation, we have touched the heart of God.

Thank you for a story that warms my heart. I will think of this story every time I see a Willow Tree.

Love and Hugs
Wanda

Pauline said...

Now that was both cheering and beautiful - I know about tree souls and really seeing. To have someone else affirm it makes me feel deeply satisfied.

Janice Thomson said...

I know that feeling of touching a tree's soul - there doesn't seem to be the right words to describe it completely. A delightful and touching post Ruth.

Ross Eldridge said...

Hallo there, Ruth,

You have a tree as lovely as a poem.

Your exquisite pictures and willow-thoughts have made my morning.

Up here, in the dead of winter, tiny villages, old churches, ancient ruins, and castles built by William the Conqueror are revealed when the trees are bare and the snow enhances all. God may be a winter person.

Cheers!

Ross

Joylene Butler said...

I love trees, so I definitely appreciate your hobby, Ruth. Your photo is outstanding. I have one framed of a lone tree in a field that I find myself staring at many times during the day. There is something profoundly fulfilling about its presence; like a sanctuary on a windswept day.

Alice Folkart said...

Ruth, you've popped my eyes open. We can't seem to SEE everything all the time, but we can open our eyes just a little wider and see what we've been overlooking.

Tree photo is beautiful, but my favorite is the red snowplow - exciting!

Also like the way you mingle the poetic - the tree and it's two little friends, the lake, sparkling or frozen, etc, AND having to go and get batteries because the power is out.

Nice.

Alice

Lydia K said...

I love looking at trees in the winter. They have a stark loveliness that's hidden by the showy green the rest of the year.