story on the back of the card:
i discovered and fell in love
with this tree several years ago
when my life was total chaos.
i keep photographs of it in my home
as reminders of the peace i felt in its presence.
whenever i feel scattered or unsure, i think of my tree
tucked away in a quiet corner of the woods,
and feel connected to and rooted
in its strength and
g r a c e.
* * * * * * *
the story behind the story
five or six years ago,
i decided to go on vacation by myself.
my decision to go to the beach
and write for a week was met
with raised eyebrows and a few hard feelings.
knowing it was something i needed to do,
i went anyways.
with a suitcase full of books and journals,
i boarded a plane and headed south
to a little bed and breakfast by the sea.
i had never even been to a movie alone,
so the idea of traveling to a place i’d never been
without anyone to lean was terrifying.
as soon i arrived, i knew it was the right choice.
if your heart is telling you to do something,
and it won’t listen to reason,
it’s probably something you should explore.
the week at the beach gave me time
to reconnect with myself.
alone with my thoughts and dreams,
i spent hours staring at the horizon
and watching the waves.
there was a park that
i really wanted to visit.
i'm bad with maps but it appeared to be
a fairly easy drive.
from what i could tell,
the park was approximately
30 to 60 minutes from where i was staying.
i planned a day trip and set out early one morning
with a cooler and change of clothes in case i decided
to go to dinner before driving back in the evening.
i couldn't have been more excited!
so you can imagine my surprise
upon discovering that the entrance to the park
was only one stoplight,
one left turn,
and less than one mile
from the b&b.
i told you i was bad with maps!
you don't have to travel far for an adventure.
right around the corner,
we just don’t realize it.
having the park so close by gave me the chance
to spend a lot of time there,
and that's how i discovered my tree.
i call it my tree because as soon as i saw it,
a feeling of calm came over me.
i stood there in reverence
of its massive roots, trunk, and limbs,
mesmerized by the moss hanging from the branches
and streams of sunlight breaking through the leaves...
i felt connected in a way that’s hard to explain.
i’ve returned to visit my tree several times since then.
the photo at the top of this website
was taken by my friend pam.
after introducing her to my tree,
"climb up. i'll take your picture."
i had never even considered
stepping over the knee-high railing
that followed the path beside the tree.
how could this have never occurred to me?
sometimes it takes a friend
to help you see the possibilities,
even the ones right in front of you.
this past week i've been checking air fares
and scheming and dreaming up ways
to visit my tree before winter.
i'm not sure if i'll be able to,
but it gives me comfort knowing it's there,
even when i can't be.
it's been fun to hear from a few kindred spirits
who've bought the tree card
who felt a connection,
because you, too, have found solace
among tree branches,
near the ocean
or in favorite parks.
may adventures await
right around the corner
from wherever you are.