June 26, 2020
Wounded trees were on my mind this day. I met with one of my cohorts of Chaplaincy School colleges. Each of us checked in and each talked about the paradox at this time… of grief and of gratitude. Grief for all that which is being illuminated. What I might call the belly side of humanity… or lack thereof. And gratitude for the “goo” that is the icky phase right now that we hope leads to change. Sharing of the understanding that many of us who follow the call to Chaplaincy or Spiritual Care, are empaths. At this time we are feeling every ounce of the change and “goo” and change that is in turmoil.
One of my friends shared about her hikes in the Pacific Northwest at this time; and seeing the trees that have been hit by lightning. Seeing their wounds; and despite that, they are thriving and growing.
This reminded me of my lemon trees in my backyard. I have a couple lemon trees, and this one I have is clearly an underdog. It has fought hard to keep growing. There is a clear wound in the trunk that shows severe splitting, and I assume a time when the dear tree was at a point of demise. But the tree now is flourishing; overflowing with lemons. To look at the totality of the tree, it seems vibrant and full of life. But closer look to the trunk and the clear split, eludes to what this tree has gone through within it’s earthly life.
In my writing workshop, my mentor shares inspirational bits for me. This is what she shared this week and it will be my prayer this night. And in my mind, I have replaced the apples written about with my lemons.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ~Louise Erdrich