The oaks have been good mentors over the past year. I will miss them.
They tell me not to worry about it. I am trying to listen.
They also tell me that no matter how well I listen, I won't ever be a tree. We're migratory creatures, some of us more than others. Few of us flit around quite as much as the blue jays and the cardinals, but we all spend our lives skimming along earth's surface. This, too, is okay. The trees reassure me that humans are fine and lovely creatures with their own kind of wisdom.
I get the idea that they aren't entirely clear on the concept, but they take it on faith that we exist with a life as rich and vibrant as their own. That is enough.
Their ignorance has taught me as much as their knowledge. Out of all that there is to know, we will always be ignorant of most of it. I had better learn how how to become good at being ignorant. I had better learn how to reach into the dark with fearless love.
Trees are not afraid of the dark. Half of their life is hidden in the underworld, where earthworms nest in their branches.
I am not a tree. The dark of the earth is for me a place of death, and I am not strong enough to feast on unfiltered light.
The oak trees spread above me, mediating glory, and beneath me, recieving burdens to great for me to carry. For them, it is no burden. It is the stuff with which they gather light.
And now they urge me on to go do likewise, but in the human way, spreading my roots into migration's deep rich heritage.
Give us this day our daily bread, and please,
give us a little butter. It needn't be
too thickly spread. We'd also like some cheese,
and cream and sugar for the coffee we
require to show any kind of grace
before late afternoon, when crankiness
sets in again, as hungrily we race
to cook and serve up supper. Lord, please bless
it to our bodies. Give us the strength we lack,
to wash both dishes and unlovely feet
of those who had to drink their coffee black
or not at all. Give us something to eat.
It will not be enough to make us good.
For that, we need your very flesh for food.