Thursday, January 22, 2009
This tree’s genes tell it to grow, to reach for the light, to put down roots and drink deeply of the nutrients in the soil. Unimpeded by wind or storms, grown in the open with plenty of light, this trees should grow straight and tall.
The life of this tree, though, is inseparable from its experience, its stimuli, and its substrate. Clinging to the boulders, scarred from ice storms, twisted and turned, the shape of the tree tells a life story.
Crooked places mark significant moments. They mark the challenges we face, the strife, the times we have to change direction, to retrench and reexamine.
I have a crooked place, April 3, 2008. My boy caused my growth rings to change; my trunk bent, and my roots had to dig in and hold on.
The trees tell us to wear the scars proudly. Bleed your sap. Heal your wounds. Redouble your efforts to grow to the light despite the droughts, the fire, the insects and the woodpecker holes.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Contrary to all good sense, we have been rebuilding the roof this winter. Weather at the Farm has been variously bone-chilling, snowy, rainy, sunny, but the work has progressed thanks to the dedication and skill (and beards) of our carpenters and roofer.
Our carpenter mentioned to me on one particularly frigid and windy day that the house was perfectly protected. Once the sun lazily climbs above the ridge, the house warms up and feels sheltered. As he was performing major surgery on the rafters, he could see down the field that the white pines were being whipped mercilessly by a wind out of the northwest, while he was relatively warm.
I hope to find out who built this house someday, because he (or she, but probably he given the time) picked a damn good place for a house. The cliffs and ridge across the road knock down the weather beautifully. The house sits in the lee of the hill, and is warmed by sun on its south and east facing sides.
And it is amazing – standing in the unheated and uninsulated house several weeks ago, it felt warm – further reason for its survival all these years.
I am starting to feel similarly protected from the cold wind of Baker’s loss. I can still see that the chilling wind of his death swirls around me through the pines, but the sting has softened. I have found shelter in our friends and family. I have taken refuge in the wonderful memories of his life in the womb, and his baby spirit is a bulwark against the storms of sorrow. The sunshine of his life has to overpower the cold of his death.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
- We placed a small Christmas tree at Baker's grave.
- Several family members donated children's books to our local library in Baker's name. Others donated to the March of Dimes and World Vision in his memory.
- My mother donated baby boy clothing to a needy family that her coworkers "adopted" for Christmas.
- My parents donated a poinsettia for the Christmas Eve service, and Baker's name was in the program.
- Chris and I donated a truck for a one-year old to Toys for Tots.
- We designed glass-etched ornaments with his name, birth date, weight, and footprints and gave them to family members for their own trees.
- Baker's ornaments, which included a baby's first Christmas bootie, were the first to go on our tree.