A Surprising and Tree-mendous Decision

One of my dear friends and I have a tradition of coming up with a word for the new year. It's kind of like a guiding principle that over-arches what we'd like to accomplish in the coming months. We share it with each other and then spend the rest of the year using it to remind and encourage each other through whatever life decides to toss our way. It's a comforting ritual and a useful one, too. Two years ago, hers was "Health", mine was "Embrace the Hotness". Last year hers was "Action", mine was "Clarity". This year, she has come up with two separate, but related and perfect words for her year and I have been completely dumbstruck. I have had a general idea of what I want to spend the year working towards, but like most things that are worth describing, it has been difficult to pinpoint a word.

 

This evening I was loitering about the garage and thinking that perhaps I had achieved perfection and that's why I hadn't thought of anything yet. This is a lie. I was thinking that I was so bogged down in my own head that I couldn't see the light of day so instead I stared out into my windy, soggy, muddy back yard and let go of the reigns for a bit. Surprise, surprise! My mind galloped up immediately to a juicy apple of a word and munched away. I wonder when I will ever learn that I need to let go of the reigns from time to time? That's a whole other post.

 

My word for this year is tree.

For 2012, I would like to be a tree.

I want to draw nourishment from my roots: my faith, my family, my core.

I want to be steadfast and strong.

I want to be able to sway in my extremities. To maintain the sort of flexibility that keeps me from snapping even in the most torrential winds, while still keeping my feet firmly planted in the ground where I've chosen to stand.

I want to provide shelter and protection to those who need it.

I want to be useful.

I want to age beautifully.

I want to reach outward and upward to the sky and accept the rain, the sun, the wind and possibly the squirrels gracefully.

I want to accept the seasons of change that inevitably come and to do it in the way I was meant to.

I want small children to climb on me and seek solace in me.

I want to shed the dead things when the time comes to do so and to grow new fruit in its time, too.

I want to be constant. I want to be grounded. I want to be solid.

Most of all, I want to remember that I am surrounded by a forest: from saplings to gnarled old trees, to the nurse logs of the trees who have fallen but continue to give of themselves for new growth. I want to remember that I'm not a lone tree on an unprotected hillside, I'm part of a network of roots and shoots and branches of many who surround me. I want to see the forest and the trees.

 

Another friend of mine is a tattoo artist who has promised me a tattoo whenever he makes it out this way. My tattoo has been decided upon years ago. It's a tree. A lovely, twisted, strong tree.

This is it. The year of the tree.

 

Originally posted on Periphery.

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