You may have heard out here in the Pacific Northwest we got whacked by a snow and ice storm last month, not something we are used to nor prepared for. Many, many trees went down including that gorgeous one you see above in its finer days.
It’s a Catalpa and it used to stand in our neighborhood. I admired it for a few years before I got up the courage to knock on my neighbor’s door and ask them if they knew what it was, and they did indeed. It was as if I’d unlocked a treasure once I knew its name and then I loved it even more, as if a secret intimacy was between us, now that I knew who she was.
And now she’s gone because anybody with a chain saw and enough brain cells to operate said chain saw is just chopping away at trees. I miss her so much! I was, in Abraham’s words, really pinching myself off just thinking about her every time I drove by the empty void of her stump left behind.
And then I remembered, I could focus on the millions of trees that did survive. And in my focusing I know that I’ll find the weeping sequoias that are still standing, the ancient, larger than life, monkey puzzle trees and so much more. I could focus on one tree being gone or I could focus on millions more still here and so many more to come.
And wait, is this not how life is? I could focus on the one thing that has my panties in a wad, the one thing that seems so out of reach and so key to my well being OR I could set my spotlight on the multitude of things that make my heart sing. Knowing that — why would I choose to focus anywhere else? Well, it’s got my attention and it’s sad and I don’t like it and that Catalpa tree deserves an ode of appreciation to it. Yes, every day I passed by you my heart sang out to you.
And now you’re gone, but I’m here and so are all of you and so much beauty still abounds in this world. I could weep every moment for the fullness and bounty of it all.
Home is where my well-being lies and ultimately the heart of me but if I’ve got my sights pointed on the unwanted, I am far from home.
And here’s the part I just can’t resist and mean it from the bottom of my heart:
Oh, Auntie Em, there IS no place like home.