Friday, November 18, 2011


Wherever you look these days in our little corner of the world, you'll see the tree debris. Piles of brush -- branches that fell during the snowstorm -- lie on the sides of the road, waiting for the town to pick them up. Some branches are still wedged on roofs. Small trees the storm wrestled from the ground lie strewn about in unnatural angles. Some bigger trees have lost their grandeur -- many of their sweeping branches were snapped by the snow into jagged, stubby arms.

I look at some of these trees and wonder if they will survive.

Years ago I went on a trip with my mom to the Southwest. The experience was unforgettable -- I was awed by the beauty. I fell in love with the red rocks, the cactus, the desert landscapes. When we returned home, however, I was surprised to be struck by something as we walked to the car that day in May. We were enveloped by the aroma of green, of new leaves. My mom and I both inhaled deeply, thankful to be home.

That was the first time I think I realized how much we take comfort in our surroundings, in the familiar and sometimes even mundane, without realizing we are doing so.

Long after people had stopped talking about the horror of 9/11, I would often think of the people in Manhattan, trying to navigate life again, trying to navigate the streets again, without the anchor of the twin towers. The towers were how I got my bearings, how I knew where I was, I remember one man saying.

When a severe ice storm hit my mom's hometown several years ago, she had to drive up to north-central Mass. and see the damage. What she saw left her in tears. The trees, the grand trees she remembered from her childhood, had snapped like twigs. Something different was left.

I have been looking in my backyard at the fallout. Thanks to the storm, the light has changed. More sun is able to peek through. I can see more. It's that way all around town. Things that were previously obscured are now in the open, exposed. At times this feels a little peculiar, and a little sad.

Yet there are times we need to be jolted in order to really see. Sometimes it's only when we lose our anchors that we realized we were tethered to something we shouldn't have been. Sometimes we have to let go of things in order for something new to grow.

Some storms come and are out of our control. There is nothing we could have done in our own strength to stop the deluge. But then, even then, we can look beyond the debris and find something of worth left behind. Something we can learn from. Something we may not have ever seen, had the storms chosen to pass us by.


Floortime Lite Mama said...

absolutely - there is so much in life that is not in control but there is also so much that there is
Loved your picture and your thoughts

Anonymous said...

I know the look you're talking about- we live in the Southeast on the coast, so we've had some pretty major hurricanes.

I like the analogy.