The sky is whole and clear.
The earth is whole and firm.
The spirit is whole and full.
~ 39th Verse of The Tao
The oak towers above. It stretches into the sky; clear and sunny, dark with the moonlight dancing in its branches, or sheltering us from the storms that pass through. The branches of the tree have no control over the movement of the wind. Yet the tree teaches us that we too have a relationship of soul to spirit. We sway and lift with what sustains us within.
The oak spreads its roots deep within the soil of the earth. Always reaching to an understanding that can only come from the depths. The tree teaches us to ground ourselves within the solid foundation of our life. The tree teaches us we are all connected on this earth.
The tree is whole and full above us. As the spirit of the wind moves through its leaves, it reminds us to listen, to feel the Spirit. We bless what these trees have given to us. We will remember the spirit of these trees, the shelter, the beauty of their gift as we go on without them overlooking the lake.
As T and I plan to expand our small cottage, it became clear we would have to lose two oaks. I mourned in anticipation of their demise. They have sheltered me through many a personal storm these past years. I have fond memories of Henri, my homing pigeon, flying through the trees. The wonder of watching an owl on early summer nights, perched on the horizontal branches overlooking the deck.
Yet the expansion of the cottage will give us more room when we want to have visitors. Not to mention the fine day we move there upon retirement.
As the trees came down, it was obvious there were large chunks of them that had died, hollowed out. So even if we weren’t expanding, the trees could have dropped limbs during a storm that could have done substantial damage. Or worse, hurt someone. It is a bit of a relief.
Still, I am grateful for the shade, shelter, and beautry trees have given us. We’ve had some logs set aside to use as book shelves and perhaps a coffee table to use in the cottage. The oaks will always be with us in spirit.