Autumn gifts so grand.
Golden trees, the lakes we see.
I stand still in awe.
With a free gas station pumpkin spice in hand, I enter a forest rich with gold.
I have only ten minutes to spare before work, yet I’m already becoming one with the trees.
Long branches embrace me as I stand by their hefty trunks looking up, or sometimes sideways with my camera.
Besides that feathery soft gold, I’m stockpiling new memories of crimson red, vibrant green, and warm orange tones for the long months of winter white ahead.
I study the deep veins of the maple leaves, brilliant light shimmering through the oaks, and the strength of those branches supporting all.
Looking at my watch, I pack away my camera but not my joy as I walk back to the car to leave.
Laughing at myself, I’m amazed at what a simple camera and a couple of trees can do for your morning perspective.
Morning rain on another chilly holiday was dampening my spirits some.
I awoke thinking how my family’s whittled down to just a precious few after the fairly recent deaths of my husband and mother.
So I marched myself over to the desk and self-prescribed a heavy dose of nature and one brisk walk.
Before leaving the house, I grabbed some jelly beans for fuel and packed away the family pictures and memories on my lap for another sunnier day.
I drove to a nearby area of hills and marsh land that I hadn’t explored before. As I started to walk I was struck by the vista right before me.
There stood a tree.
Or at least part of it.
Once tall and proud.
Now it was brittle.
I walked up the hill for a closer look.
The tree was dead.
I took the lens cap off the camera and took a few shots anyway.
But I wasn’t sure why.
The image haunted me.
Turning, I returned to the path below to continue my walk until the northerly winds picked up and the rain increased.
The walk wasn’t helping my mood much anyway.
And the sweet signs of spring my camera had been searching for remained hidden.
Maybe under the fresh snow received earlier in the week.
Returning back to my car, I noticed my lens cap for the camera was missing.
It’s probably up on the hill, I thought.
Over by that old dead tree.
I retraced my steps and finally found my lens cap.
But something had changed.
Or maybe it was me.
I noticed the brittle branches of the dead tree were extended. And they were reaching out to those just beyond.
Perhaps the seedlings of the dead tree once provided life to the smaller and younger ones nearby.
Death and resurrection in nature.
What a sacred gift.
Climbing back down the hill again to leave, I saw a red wing black bird fluttering.
And then a happy robin hopping.
They were my first sightings of the season.
And both birds were fully in song.
I soon was as well, once I turned on the car radio.
Handel’s “Messiah” was in concert on the public radio station.
How could I not join in with the choir?
My boy Tuck’s a tree hugger.
And I’ll be telling him a tale with some tough news shortly.
That old 100 foot tall maple tree in his backyard is taking the high road.
Tuck’s not going to like it at all.
He claimed the tree as his own the day we moved in to our little cottage five months ago.
He’s settles in daily for a while beneath heavy, weak branches gazing up at the sky in all kinds of weather.
On my old property there were 20 trees just as tall, but he ignored them all.
At least I thought he did.
Perhaps Tuck had taken notice and this old maple reminds him of his prior place full of bunnies, birds, and butterflies.
Much like a warm, gentle memory to hold on tightly.
As for me, I hope to hold on to the tree’s thick trunk.
I’m hopeful the tree surgeon will make a clean, flat cut.
A majestic maple picnic table would be the perfect way to toast the life of one grand old tree and new chapters for a sweet senior terrier.