Sunday, October 28, 2018

10/29/18—Contemplating The Tree

Back in 2015, one of my big dramas was the decision to cut down the tree in my back yard. I could have cut it down to a tiny stump, but decided, instead, to cut it into the shape of a "tree god", complete with a face I faux painted to match the tree. His arms are eternally reaching upward, summoning spirits to the backyard, like the lady who materializes in my backyard fires and the cardinal that chirps my name (see image and video below).

Fact is, the tree had been a danger for many years. The limbs overhung three yards and two roofs and I worried about it with every passing storm. Though it kept growing fiercely, it also seemed to deteriorate at the same pace. As you can see from the picture on the left, it tried to regenerate by pumping out new growth. But the picture below reveals that, in the past year or two, it has given up entirely. 

Tree in decay, losing its bark.
As I said, I cut it down because it was dying. So it's probably dying because it's dying. But I can't help but look at the deterioration in the past year and wonder if it's dying because the energy around it—energy from me and my thoughts and from the many birds that have drilled holes into the tree to create homes—says it's dying. I wonder if it's dying because it has come to believe it's dying. 

Most mornings I'll go out back and sit and will inevitably contemplate the tree. The dogs like being outside better when I'm out there with them, so I'll go to make sure they do all their morning business. If I didn't go, they would pee and rush back in to me, having not gone on the lengthy hunt for the perfect poopy spot. It behooves us all to get that done before I dig my nose into my writing for the day. 

So I'll contemplate the tree and wonder if it has voluntarily given up on life because everyone believes it is dying. Or I'll wonder if it's just coincidence that the tree's decay began just as my decay ended. And I'll ask myself what I believe to be true about my own situation. I know that when I believed I was dying, I was. And when I believed I was "cured", I was. Of course there was medical intervention to create that change, so it wasn't all in my head. But there have been other, more subtle thoughts—Do I believe I'm worth fighting for, or do I want to give up an succumb to my darker fears?—that the tree has inspired me to consider, too. 

Right now I'm seeing the tree shedding its outer layer and becoming something different. I'm on that journey, too. For both of us, it's an inevitable evolutionary step. Gone are the familiar, uniform brushstrokes of bark and they're being replaced by long streaks of unpredictable form and color. Those streaks have been in there, forming, all along. But they've only had the wherewithal to show themselves recently...after both of us came to terms with death and our own transformational rebirth.

Click on the image to make it larger.
Do you see the lady gazing at the camera, chin resting on
her hands? She is in the smoke to the left of the flame.
Is this change the sign of the real tree god coming out? Or is the god falling apart, having long lost all that once made him powerful? I'm thinking that, in my own case, it's the former. Which is actually the scarier option. Dying and decaying don't really take much effort. But bringing out a powerful part of you that never saw the light—or saw the light so long ago it's a distant memory—requires you to engage actively in your own fate. And that's some scary shit, especially after being dormant for so long.

The universe got so tired of waiting for me to voluntarily engage that it is forcing me to step into the light and leave my comfort zone. Well, I still have a choice, but I know I have to choose to leave my comfort zone. Fate seems determined to not only change the course of my health this year, but that of my work, family and social lives. Like the tree god, I lifted my arms and summoned change and now I've got it. I thought it would come in slower and more gently, but it's not. I'm almost afraid to ask for anything more from the universe, because it is delivering so quickly and surely these days. 

So these are the things I think about as I observe the stump in my back yard. Never let it be said I don't possess a talent for overthinking. :D But it does beg the question—What do you think about yourself and how is that manifesting in your life? And, if that perspective were to change, what kind of change would that create in your own life? Personally, I'm never "ready" to tackle change, so I'm glad change has come to tackle me. What about you?