Thursday, January 26, 2012

South Burlington, Vermont - In Memoriam

I lost an old friend today, January 12, 2012. We first met some thirty years ago. Even then, the age, and stature of my new friend was humbling. To have lived so many years, some good years with deep growth, some slow growing years, is to demonstrate patience, perseverance and strength, with maybe a little bit of luck.

My friend and many like my friend, stand tall in all kinds of weather, suffering insults and offenses in stride. It is enough my friend once proclaimed, to offer others shelter, a breath of fresh air, or simply a place under which to rest and contemplate.

Offspring, to countless to name, have spread about, many taking root in the community offering the same generous health benefits as did my friend. I hope they may have as many years to filter for us, what is most precious, as is in their nature to do.

Walking brings me pleasure for many reasons. One is to meet friends along the way. Stand in their shadow. Place a hand upon them in quiet respect and honor. Absorb the unspoken wisdom the oldest have gathered and freely share. I will miss my old friend when I pass by what will now be a gaping absence – a space that now seems more open but at the same time exposed.

Mortality confronts us mainly upon the death of a loved one. However, I also contemplated my finite existence in the presence of this elder whose way of communicating was through silence. Whose stillness arrested time and allowed me to think of what my time means to me.

In honor of my solid Oak friend whose roots reached out along Kirby road for more than a century, I offer this quote in remembrance as well as a reminder of the giving spirit of this gentle giant whom I wish to emulate. "The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit” Nelson Henderson.

 I already miss your stillness and silence. Your majestic towering outreach touched my soul. I promise to cultivate more like you for those that will follow me.

               Help keep your community Green, plant a tree.

Pledge to be a friend of the environment and help the Lorax                                      @                                                               Select 'post office' tab.

                                                                                         Rest in Peace my old friend.
“The Native American Tree of Life – For many Native American people, all living and growing creatures are members of one family. The trees, the animals, and human beings are “all my relations.” Each has its own wisdom, and tribal council meetings frequently took place under a great and ancient tree, hoping to harmonize with the earth’s innate wisdom” Source/Author unknown.   

The Unlikely Roads That Lead Us Back to Ourselves: Eve Ensler on How a Tree Saved Her Life

Other personal stories and folktale postings: