An Old Oak Tree Speaks

FullSizeRenderYesterday, an old oak tree on a path I’ve walked a hundred times
Now sat forlorn, broken in a half
Seemingly strong, alive, sturdy, and vibrant
I vowed to visit, as many times as I’d passed
Promising tomorrow I’d slip off and play
To sit a while and listen to what you had to say

To climb on your low reaching limb,
like the arms of my grandfather inviting me to climb on your lap.
How unexpected, confusing, now suddenly different, a part of it gone
Something we expect that will be solid and strong
Breaks and gives way to fragility, loss; a lap that can hold us no more.
A shattering of what we expect will always be there for us,
To visit whenever we felt or would like
And suddenly not knowing what life has in store

There’s the challenge of our own strength when we come across weakness,
or life that streaks lightening, suddenly toppling a big branch of “us”
Shattering our solidness, confidence, safety, and trust.
And then there’s the shedding of a weightiness we can’t hold any longer,
that leaves us leaner, more able to grow.
Remaining limbs are left stronger, with more life to know.

I honor your ancient ways, Grandfather Oak
The strength you imparted, the wisdom you spoke
And the part of you that stays with me always, even if broke.

Reflection Questions

How have you experienced a sudden loss of something you felt was so solid, a relationship, a job, and part of yourself?

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do but putting off? How might you engage before it’s too late?

How have you grown from shedding heavy branches that weighed you down and you couldn’t support any more?