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Monday
Oct312011

Oh Wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow.

It snowed this weekend. A lot. Fifteen or sixteen inches where we live. More than twice that not too far from here.

The leaves are still on the trees. Beautiful in some ways., A friend described it as Wintumn. Sad in others. The weight of snow on leaves being more than many branches can bear. A lot like life.

I love trees. More now that I live among so many of them. Watching their growth year after year. Pruning, guiding, lighting them. A lot like people.

I spent Saturday night fighting the blizzard, armed with a leaf blower. A powerful weapon for removing snow from tree branches. Two hours, two tanks of gas, shoulders aching, arms numb, wishing I was stronger, wishing I was taller, wishing I could do more. A lot like me.

Sunday morning broke calm and still and sun filled. We had lost one major branch. Others were at their breaking point. Literally. I ran outside, literally, with my leaf blower and started again. 

One tree at a time. One branch at a time. Working my way up from the bottom. Using a pole to reach the highest points where wind and sun could not.

And as I cleared the snow, the branches rose, like Lazarus, towards the sky. The threat removed, no lingering memory holding them back from their natural state. It happened a hundred times. More. Each one surprising me. A quiet nod, as if of thanks, before they went back to doing what they do. Sheltering, supporting, growing, changing, living, dying. A lot like life. A lot like people. A lot like me.

I came inside at Noon. The sun doing its best work, better now than I could. Encouraging the melt. Shared goals. Different strengths. A partnership in the truest and best sense. 

It was five o’clock before I came outside again. The sun was in the last quadrant of its arc, the sky tinged pink at its edge. I walked around for a few minutes, the dogs running back and forth, from me to each other, all happy to share the last few moments of limitless possibilities, that a squirrel might appear, or a rabbit might emerge, or a deer might saunter by. Their happiness filled the space around me. And behind them, silhouetted by the setting sun, a few trees stood blowing gently in the breeze. 

In the quiet of today’s early morning, I read an article about the life and death of a man that I greatly admire. It talked about enormous achievements and personal passions. It talked about big things and small. It talked about beginnings. And it talked about the end.

What is better because we have been here?

What do we leave behind that makes a difference? 

How have we changed the world? 

Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.


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