“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to us to merit the face you have at fifty.” ~ Coco Chanel
This tree, she is a woman. I’ve walked beside her and put my hands on her, exchanging energies for seven years. I never tire of her, through all the seasons, atmospherically and metaphorically.
I’ve brought special people to meet her. Kindred spirits recognize her before I introduce them. “That tree is a woman,” said one boyfriend walking with me in my grief, trying damn hard to make me love him. In that moment, looking at her, he forgot. We loved her together.
She greets me and calls to me whichever way I walk on trails through the woods. The other day, I noticed, from a certain angle, she appears pregnant. When I face her from the other side, where the bark is bare and my handprints lay, she’s a woman’s legs reaching upwards, her head buried beneath the ground. She holds her center between those long legs reaching to the everything, her privates so clear and public.
My sister and I once spotted baby racoons peaking out and hiding there, from their tree mama’s womb. They ran back down into her for safety, solid and wide, a condominium complex to creatures, in her body.
Today, I merged with her. I felt the rings of history traced and expanding within me. Bark like skin has endured and grown through a thousand seasons, rainstorms, and children’s laughter on the path beside her.
She adjusted her stance and deepened her roots years ago when people came close and carried electronics into her vibrational field. Most recently, she startled with so many human voices released into her arena. She’s come to welcome them as kindly as the deer and little masked thieves. She holds a sense of humor about humans bearing masks, only matched by her compassion.
This tree is a queen. No one tries to overthrow her. Little ones bend before her. Grass gathers at her feet in spring. A white blanket snuggles close in winter. She’s in love with the river running at her back. Like her, he’s ever-changing and always remaining. Her strength is indisputable. If she were a poem, she’d be titled Phenomenal Woman.
She sways and radiates her vibrant lime-green leaves with the wind in celebration for life. Yes, on blue sky days, but also under gray clouds, starry nights, and times when she finds herself naked again.
This tree stands at a crossroads of several paths which intertwine and encircle her, along the river, through the field, across to the cemetery where old trees salute, and home to neighborhoods where visitors live.
Today, I embody her. When I asked, she said, “I’ve been waiting.” She’s as sexy as any wide-open woman. She houses many and cares for all. All are welcome, like the Lady Liberty of our united nature. She hears and feels it when other trees fall in her forest. She nourishes the collective air and peers at the fish performing. She’s regal, standing at grace with everything. She sings with the all the birds and lets owls perch on her arms.
Nothing deters her from her purpose. To be a tree.