My creative and thoughtful and wonderful mother-in-law, Doris Ann Musser, is back with reflections about a tree that sits outside the retirement home in Richmond, Kentucky that she called home for a few years.    

THE TREE

YOU RISE ABOVE THE OTHER TREES AT THE CURVE OF 

STOCKER DRIVE…..TALLER…BROADER….MORE STATELY…..

….WITH BRANCHES STRETCHING OUT IN ALL DIRECTIONS.

      SOME REACH FOR THE SKY;

      SOME LOOK AT THE UNEVEN GROUND;

      SOME YEARN TO MOVE ON UP THE HILL.

MOST ARE BENT, GNARLED, CROOKED, MALFORMED…..

    …OF VARIOUS SHAPES AND SIZES.

THEY CLING TO YOU TIGHTLY AS

                IF STUCK WITH SUPER GLUE.

EACH HAS SMALL ATTACHMENTS DWINDLING FROM

LARGE TO MEDIUM TO TINY TO NOTHING.

      YOU GAVE THEM BIRTH;

      NATURE GUIDED THEIR GROWTH.

THEY STEM FROM A FIRMLY ROOTED, STURDY TRUNK….

TWENTY-THREE FEET, TWO INCHES.  MY HUG OF LOVE

FAILS TO REACH THE WHOLE WAY ROUND.

 ROUGH CHIPS CLING TO YOUR TRUNK. PROTECTING

 FROM STRONG WINDS AND SEVERE WEATHER. 

ALL TREES NEED ROOTS.  YOURS ARE UNIQUE AND

AMAZING, BREAKING FREE AND PUSHING UP THROUGH

THE SOIL LEAVING AN UNEVEN SURFACE. THE ENDS OF

THE  ELONGATED BUMPY ROOTS WITH RIDGES AND

VALLEYS MAKE WALKING TRICKY.

NOT A SCIENTIFIC FACT, BUT A STRING MEASUREMENT  

SAYS YOU FORM A SIXTY-THREE FEET IRREGULAR CIRCLE

AT THE ENDS OF THE ROOTS.  THEY DARE ME TO GET

CLOSE TO YOUR TRUNK WHILE DETERMINED TO BE SEEN

AS NECESSARY AND APPRECIATED PARTS OF THE WHOLE.

LOOKING THROUGH YOUR VARIOUS SIZED LIMBS AND

BRANCHES IS LIKE SEEING THE BRILLIANT SKY THROUGH

A GIANT SPIDER WEB.

SOMETIMES THE SUNSET FRAMES YOUR BEAUTY.

     SOMETIMES THE SNOW CLINGS TO THE UPPER SIDE

            OF YOUR BRANCHES; A BREATHTAKING SIGHT.

                         SOMETIMES GOD’S TEARS SOAK YOU

                                  WITH NEEDED WATER.

YOU BEAR NO FLOWERS, ONLY HUNDREDS OF HEALTHY

GREEN LEAVES IN SEASON. I WONDER HOW MANY

BIRDS & ANIMALS HAVE SHELTERED IN AND AROUND.

           YOU ARE BEAUTIFULLY BARE. 

HOW MANY RAGING STORMS HAVE YOU WEATHERED?

YOU ARE NOT SYMETERICAL LIKE MANY OTHER TREES.

SUCH AN IMPREFECT SHAPE ADDS TO YOUR LOVELINESS.

I QUESTION WITH SILENT RESPONSES…..

– WHAT IS YOUR REASON FOR BEING?

– ARE  YOU REALLY OVER TWO HUNDRED YEARS OLD,

                  AS I WAS TOLD?

– WHO PLANTED YOU IN THIS SPOT?

– WHAT’S IT LIKE…. A LIVING THING YET UNMOVING?

– WHY DO YOU FASCINATE ME?

– ARE YOU HERE BECAUSE GOD KNEW THAT ONE DAY

  IN NINETEEN HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE THERE WOULD BE

  AN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY  NEAR PLUS CONDO AND

  TELFORD RESIDENTS WHO WOULD FIND GREAT

  PLEASURE IN ADMIRING YOU?

DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE A BEACON FOR US?

WE SHARE MUCH.

       WE, TOO, ARE OLD.

SOME OF US MOVE AS DO YOUR LIGHTER BRANCHES.

     OTHERS ARE MORE LIKE YOUR HEAVIER BRANCHES;

                     .. NEEDING ASSISTANCE.

SOME ARE BENT IN BODY…..LEANING.

            WE HAVE WEATHERED STORMS.

OUR BEAUTY IS NOT AS FORMERLY BUT WE GRACEFULLY

                 ACCEPT AGING.

WE ARE BEACONS FOR THE GENERATIONS WE BORE

            AND RAISED.

OUR WOMBS ARE BARE; WE ARE FREE TO ENJOY

              THE FRUITS OF OUR LABORS. 

I AM ABSORBED, CAPTIVATED AND IN ANOTHER WORLD

AS I SIT ON THE BENCH CONTEMPLATING THIS

MARVELOUS STRUCTURE.

THANK YOU, SPECIAL TREE.

      BE QUIET MY SOUL.

         TURN AWAY FROM DISTRACTIONS.                                                                                                                              

                  SIMPLY SIT, LINGER, LOOK, LISTEN.

DORIS ANN MUSSER has been sharing her creative talents for 87 years, spanning the globe from Lewisburg, West Virginia, to Brazil, France, Haiti, and China, and back to Kentucky where she lives now. She has her one and only, Harvey, waiting for her in heaven, but remains delightfully busy on earth keeping up with her five children, their spouses, thirteen grandchildren, and twenty-two great grand-children at last count. She has friends around the world and loves all things Mickey and Charlie Brown.

3 Comments on “Letters to the Lord: The Tree

  1. This is wonderful! Beautiful analogy! Thank you Elizabeth for sharing and thank you Aunt Doris!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many times when on the way to McCready, I have taken note of that amazing tree. I was always driving by but you still get some good views of it that way and for a little while coming up the hill and going by. I never sat or walked around the base. And I never thought about how old it is and how nice to have it as a sentry by a place where oldies but goldies live. Thanks for sending this out Elizabeth and Doris for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: