Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I sat under a tree today. I settled down into the Eastern cushion fashioned out of its crackling bark. It is a tree that I have known for years. A tree that I imitated in charcoal when I was twenty. It took me a moment to find it today. It had been awhile since my last visit. The tree has changed a bit in the last year. It is an old, old walnut. I saw no leaves as I walked up to it. Many parts of its trunk have grown hollow. it has dark, dark bark, and in places branches have fallen away to reveal the damaged heartwood. When I sat in the shrill shade of November I still found the warmth I remembered. Low to the ground, I found myself. I found the crispy leaves of many tree-families mingling together, blown by Autumn from their Mother trees. A wind would come up, they would touch and make music. A wind would come up and they would pass each other by. A dog ran through once, moving them as a favor to the wind. Scattering the leaves in a hurdy-gurdy way. Changing their course for just a moment.
When the wind picked up a chill tried to seep in, so I moved to the Southern lump of root. Perched myself and basked in the low sun of late Fall. I tried to lean back into the tree's trunk, but one sharp poke of bark protested my ease. I looked to the ground again. Squirrels had presented so many offerings of acorns to the walnut tree, that for a moment I almost believed that my friend had become an oak. The burl in the root told me otherwise. My own hair matched that burl as it swirled in the wind. Coils of it meandered in front of my eyes, trying to hide the secrets of the wood from my view. Two leaves escaped a nearby pin oak. As I glanced up, they danced together all the way to the dingy grass, only to be separated upon landing.
I moved to the Western throne of roots, it was lower still. The man with the dog passed again. He had been circling. I wondered if he wanted the tree too. If he would have stopped I would have told him your story Frost. Sometimes I long to tell strangers about you. I daydream about having such conversations. Nobody came, nobody asked.
I moved to the chill Northern side. Shallow roots practically plunged me into the earth. I felt the cool of the moss through the thick fabric of my clothing. I waited for what I deserved. On the cool side I looked out in front of me. I saw the tree's shadow stretched long. Majestic, how I remembered it. The shadow didn't show the broken pieces. The exposed core was hidden in the shadow. The shadow had preserved my memory. The memory of a twenty year old before she became a mother. The tree had remembered me.
I stood and watched my own shadow play with the memory. I took a piece of walnut shell from the ground and heard the chatter of a squirrel. I paused and looked to the animal. Her teats showed me that she was a mother also. I spoke your name to her and I knew she understood.
I walked away to other callings. I returned with your sister. We saw the squirrel again, she was sitting in the hollow of the walnut tree chittering towards the heartwood. I know that she was telling the tree your name. I didn't tell your sister the truth, I just let her laugh and chase.
I will be coming back to the tree on your birthday. The tree knows you now, and I told the tree I would be coming. Maybe it will invite both of us to sit together under its branches and listen to its old, old memory.
Night, night Frost
Mama loves you


  1. You have a brilliant way of sharing your experience. I'm so glad for your posts. I've also enjoyed your submissions to SL365. Sending you lots of love as we come up on 11 months tomorrow. Frost's name will be spoken.

  2. I've been following your blog for a while. I'm so sorry for your loss...You translate your loss so beautifully in your writing. I always look forward to reading your posts.

  3. I forgot to tell you that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award :-) Check out my blog for the detais.