I’m a Tree

My husband took this picture in Dublin.

My husband took this picture in Dublin.

Do you ever wake up feeling like the morning is a continuation of your miserable night before? It was dark when you put the kids to bed and it’s dark when you wake up. They were climbing you like a tower last night and they’re doing it again this morning. There are some mornings when I wake up feeling like I have nothing to give before the sun even comes up. It’s times like these when I chant my mantra…

I’m a tree…I’m a tree…I’m a tree

Because what I’m really feeling is that I’m a rock: impenetrable, unchanging, resistant. I’m a fan of some rocks – Mt. Rushmore, Sedona’s red rocks, Dwayne Johnson – but a rock as an anthem for motherhood? Not so much.

When I’m a tree, I bend in the storm without breaking. My responsibilities are spread among my many branches. As a tree, I go through seasons, growing and changing, producing seeds and fruit (sometimes spoiled rotten little fruits but they’re mostly redeemable). I’m connected to my living source; Mother God, father God moving in and through me. I give as well as receive.

I’m a tree…I’m a tree…I’m a tree

It’s times like these that I remember why I stopped drinking. I bought into the illusion that alcohol allowed me to be open and receptive but it was just another form of armor that protected me from all things messy and unpredictable. Parenthood is always messy and unpredictable and I don’t need protection from it. I need to embrace the wildness of it and be a tree.

I wrote this post days ago and scheduled it for today but it takes on new meaning for me. Last night, my beloved Grandpa died. He was 89 years old and as my brother says, “He was great at life.” He died surrounded by family who love him and will love him forever. We are trees together, branches intertwined.

A veteran, passing on Veteran's Day

A veteran, passing on Veteran’s Day

A beloved husband, father and grandfather

A beloved husband, father and grandfather

 

22 Comments on “I’m a Tree

  1. Hugs, Karen, this was beautiful and so special the way it turned into a tribute for your grandfather.
    “We are trees together, branches intertwined”
    Gorgeous. Wishing you peace today.

    Dust.
    Wind.
    Dude.

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  2. I just passed seven months of clean time and I am at that point of having to remember why I stopped using. It gets difficult on those days when life asks you to bend with the wind but not break. Life expects a measure of dexterity from us that I don’t always feel equipped to give, and I have to remind myself that if I don’t bend I will surely break. It is so easy to forget the real cost of my drug use and idealize the impact of the drugs on my state of mind. Like you, I have to remind myself that drugs only temporarily made life seem better, but the reality was that it kept me from dealing with life at all and just delayed coping with the issues of day to day living. Thank you for the reminder to be flexible. I really needed that.

    Blessings to you and your family as you grieve the loss of your grandfather.<3

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  3. Karen, I am so sorry. I am praying for you and your family during this sad period, he sounded like he was a true patriarch, and I’m sure you are all feeling the loss. This post is a beautiful metaphor, and I will try to remember that mantra the next time I am stressed with parenting issues, which will probably be as soon as I get up from this computer 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Josie

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  4. Karen, This is beautiful. I want to be a tree today too.What a lovely tribute to your grandfather. You always capture my heart. Lisa

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  5. I do love that expression too – “he was great at life” – shouldn’t we all just be that?

    I am sorry to hear about your grandfather…seems he left quite a legacy in everyone’s hearts.

    Blessings,
    Paul

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  6. OH, I am so sorry fort he loss of your sweet grandfather…
    I love the picture of him in uniform, such a handsome guy!
    And your brothers description….what we all should strive for, being great at life!
    xo

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  7. Oh, sweet Karen,
    So sorry for the loss of your Grandpa. What a loving and wonderful tribute to him, you, your journey together, and ALL OF US. You gift us all with you and your soul. I LOVE this: “I’m connected to my living source; Mother God, father God moving in and through me.” This absolutely takes my breath away; it’s EXACTLY how I feel when I stand in the sun and invite God/Goddess into my body. I love this feeling. I love this connection. I love this post with all of my soul. You are a beautiful, beautiful tree. From your loving sister-tree, Lizzy

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  8. Aw, such a sweet post anyway and then a touching tribute to your grandfather. I’m very sorry for your loss. Love the pictures of him and the way your brother described him.

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