Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Passing




I lost an old friend yesterday.  She wasn't a person, but she was important in my life in a special way.


I am blessed to live surrounded by nature's beauty.  My home is nestled into a ring of wooded acreage. Although close to people and the services that help make everyday life bearable, it is possible to feel and believe that one is alone with one's thoughts and the beauty of God's creation.  The curtains are never closed for there is no one near enough to look in and I choose never to place a barrier between me and the ever-changing wonders just outside the windows.


One of those wonders has always been a lovely Hickory tree outside the bedroom window.  Each morning, she would be the first thing I would see as sleep fell from my eyes and the world came into focus.  I found that when I traveled I missed her calming presence - and I always looked forward to the moment when she would greet me the morning I returned.


She was a sturdy tree, blooming a bit later than most but stubbornly holding her leaves almost a full month after those of others had burst into color, faded and fallen gently to the earth.  But her tenacity was also her downfall, for when early ice or snow fell heavily, her branches, still laden with leaves, would sometimes buckle under the weight - and I would watch helplessly as major limbs were torn from her sides.


Twice over the years her shape was altered in such manner, and each time I would treat her wounds and learn to love the new face she presented to the world.


This past Spring, however, she endured the worst indignity to her proud form yet.  I tried to tell myself that she would survive, but something inside me made me treasure her presence each morning a little more.  As Winter now undeniably approaches, I sighed in the realization that she would not survive another harsh season - and yesterday I bit my lip and lovingly brought her down to earth.


This morning, the dawn came as it relentlessly does.  But something was missing when I cast my first glance through the window.  Where she always stood was what appeared to me a gaping void, although others would never notice her absence.  There was a small emptiness inside me, but I pictured her in my mind - as I know I always will, no matter how long I live, or where.


Soon, however, she will warm me once more - and something tells me her heat will be just a little more intense, her flames just a little brighter than any of the rest. 


bedazzzled1 said...

Maybe this winter she felt you needed her peacefulness and warmth in a different way, and she has given it to you...hasn't she?

inafrnz247 said...

Love this touching story, and I am always in awe of the way you carry a story from your mind through your fingertips and into your reader's hearts.  You must still miss her...   chelle