I wake early and I sit in the same spot on the sofa.
I spend the very first moments sitting and sometimes I think that if I moved, I would break the spell.
I never knew a tree could cast a spell.
From over three decades living in the city, with occasional trips to parks, I was never enchanted by such quiet audacity. There were many beautiful encounters with trees in the North but none like this.
She was a gift from a friend grown from a seed. She was a little sapling that Mikey and I planted near our house. We wanted her to be close. To be able to love her through it – the process of getting used to the land and the elements. We didn’t have much luck with some other trees we planted.
But there must have been more than enough sun, more than enough water, more than enough space, and more than enough love.
I love her wildness. The wildness of a tree that comes into your living room like an unexpected but welcome guest. The wildness of a tree where the leaf is bigger than a small child.
Every morning I sit and she takes up more space, more of my view, more of my attention. She blurs the line of home and garden.
She is the tree of the Mary Oliver poem that I never met until now:
When I am among the trees
By Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world,
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
So she casts the spell to stay and I stay.
I stay long enough to imagine how easy it could be.
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