A lesson from the earth

This summer, we lost our most magnificent oak.  The over-200 year old tree was like a dear friend.  It and its equally magnificent three sisters were selling points when we bought the old little cottage.  Though the oak took out roof out- twice- it was still so sad to say good-bye to it.

For months, there has been just a big ole’ pile of wood chips where the old oak stood.  It was too hot in the summer to really deal with re-landscaping that section of the yard and back to school madness has, well, been madness so the wood  chips, the last vestiges of the old tree, remain.

And then today, out of nowhere, there was this in the middle of the wood chips.

I stopped when I saw that sweet flower- so vivid against the backdrop of what for so long has just symbolized loss for us.  I cross this pile everyday on my way to the Sugar Shack.  Up until today, there’s been nothing to see here.  And then, it feels like all of a sudden, there was this vivid purple beauty.  As I took in the richness of the flower, its solitary glory amidst a pretty drab background, I was reminded of a truth about life.
We lose things, things we can’t stand to lose, things we think we cannot live without- a relationship, maybe, or, let’s say, a job.  And we think, “well, that’s it.  That was as good as it gets. All down hill from here.”  And we settle into our sadness, our loss.  We walk over the wood chips, the destruction beneath us, and think it is scorched earth.
Permanent scorched earth.
But then we give it time.  We give it breathing room.  Life adjusts, as it does.  And it shows us that really we were just preparing for something else, something that was already ready for us; it was just waiting for us to be ready for it.  Our future might come in a different package than we were expecting, but it is a package that is meant for us, beautiful to us, just ripe with possibility.  And we begin to understand that the thing we lost had to be lost in order to enjoy this newest gift.  And the only right thing, the only thing left to do, then, is enjoy.  Enjoy it for the time that it has been given to us, and be grateful.
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2 responses to “A lesson from the earth”

  1. Isha

    Thanks for this. We lost our beloved cat last month and are beginning to think of adopting an animal again–this helps.

  2. Deborah

    Rosie, what a lovely homily. Thanks so much for sharing it!!

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