Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Adopted by Trees

You know that feeling after you've been caught for the first time by a big wave? You know what I mean. Your sinuses are burning from seawater that was pushed up your nose. You still feel breathless from being held under for too long, dizzy, not quite sure which way is up. And when you find your feet, wobbly from it all, you realize that you've got sand packed into your left ear and only a little more swimming and a rest on the beach will take it out.

That's how I feel, only there is no hot sun stinging my shoulders and nose. There are no glints of sunlight on water. There is no staring into the distance over the water, the infinite so close at hand.

There's just the radio playing a song you don't quite like, the pile of blankets on the couch, a pile of tissues in the bin, and the cat nestled into the sleeping bag you got out because you couldn't get warm.

The burning in your lungs has passed, that feeling that was like the time the TA in chemistry lab said to 'waft' the odor from the test tube and you snorted a whiff of chlorine gas and your lungs hurt for a week. At least that has passed, but you still have sea water up your nose and sand packed into your left ear.

And you're dizzy.

And disoriented at the colors in the room though you haven't left them for four days.

And feeling oh so slightly better so that you can tolerate sitting upright and understanding a whole movie on TV.

And it feels good to stare at the clouds out the window at the deepening dusk, all color washed but a pale shade of blue behind the silhouette of your home trees, your family trees, the ones that casually brushed the hair off your temple last weekend when you were working on the ladder. Your trees, your home trees. And they feel like family, like the cat and the dog only you wonder if you aren't the cat or the dog because they have lived here so incredibly long and you may have been adopted by them instead of the other way around. How would you be able to tell if you'd been adopted by a family of trees? How would you be able to tell how they cared for you?

Yes, I've got a cold. I'm starting to feel better, but this is usually where I am at the end of a cold, well enough to brush spring fur off the dog on the back deck and stare into the deepening sky.

And wonder if we've got it all wrong and it was the trees that brought us back here day after day after day.

Thank you for listening, jb

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