The Blessing of the Trees (1/10)

I came to the woods
harried and drained
weary and thirsty
to seek the blessing of the trees

in the breeze came their whispers . . .

I wrapped my arms around dense wood
and received a flow of fortitude and steadfastness
from the solid stillness of sturdy trunk

I closed my eyes and saw a vision
of roots as deep and wide as spreading branches
source and foundation of long lived stability
hidden in the secret places
like closet prayer 

roots join with other roots
feeding and sharing mysteries
drawing from the nourishment of Earth
up through veins and sinews
through branches to leaves
to breathe and share
in the forest communion

from the solidity of that thick trunk
my eyes lift to limbs and fingers
swaying and dancing in the wind
flexible and sensitive to the merest stir of air
a rebuke to brittle notions of obstinacy

a younger tree catches my eye
on the edge of the dense shadow
she has grown sideways
leaning and yearning toward the light
her thirst for the sun never wavers
and her long obedience sets her path
and determines her destiny

still but never static
giving the lie to the illusion of perfection
always changing and holding loosely
the shape of the past

how generously trees share
holding out their hands for birds nests
harboring squirrel families
insects that travel their highways
and burrow into their bark
moss and fern and lichen
all find homes
even supplicants seeking blessings
who pause in the cool of their shade

and before I leave, one last gift
as I try to catch an image
of that unexpected, colorful leaf
as soon as my camera is in place
she teases me with a sudden game of keepaway
I swear it’s not the breeze
but that impish tree laughing

and I laugh too
then take my leave 
with a reluctant and contented sigh
trailing gifts behind me

by Celeste Boudreaux, August 2020

Next post: Introduction (2/10, Blessing of the Trees)

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