Trees have many meanings to me. They anchor the earth to the sky with roots in each of them, gripping the universe with forgiving fists. They make sacrifices to keep us warm. They burn up and break down into ash. They build up the basic elements. They breathe for us and we breathe for them, converting poison to air and air to poison. They need us and we need them. They are our life force and we are theirs. It is sad that we don’t always realize this and that we cut them down by the billions. I wish we would stop that.
The leaves on the trees are so fragile and temporary, so powerful and permanent. One of my favorite things in this world is the light in leaves as the sun shines behind them. Sometimes they are still, sometimes they sway, sometimes they sashay their days away. They always bring me peace, regardless. Bright greens, yellows and reds: All the colors of life and rot and death, dancing along with the light above us.
I often look to the oaks and maples and they smile back at me and wave. The beech tree always holds on as long as it can. When the leaves are at their weakest, at their end, they are the most vibrant and beautiful. It’s as if they have brought all of the light into their veins to build up their courage before they take the leap. They become brighter and brighter and they burn into my memory, so that I may clothe the trees with my eyes throughout the winter.
Coley and I love trees so much that we named our daughters after them. Juniper and Laurel carry the same beauty and light in them that the leaves do. They are so fragile and temporary, so powerful and permanent. They are our connection to Mother Nature. They came from her as much as they came from us. I hope they each share our love for trees, so that we can all explore the woods together. So that we can we can look up at the trees together, build homes in them, pretend we are in another universe, let the light pass through everything. I hope they fall in love with their namesake as we fall in love with them.