Several years ago I had planted a magnolia tree in my backyard and every spring it would produce beautiful white flowers. Last year I took a photo of my daughter with the white blossoms:
|OK, not too many flowers... but still pretty|
Not having any dogs this summer, my backyard was badly neglected and the dead magnolia sat poking out of the ground until late August, when I adopted my latest canine sweetie-pie. When I started taking him out regularly for his potty breaks I realized how truly crappy my yard looked and slowly I have been working on bringing some life back to the yard that has often been a little sanctuary for me, a place where I feel like I can hide from some of life's evils. (One day, however, I might be out there on a windy day when a dead branch falls from a tree and kills me and we'll see how hidden from evil I am then.)
So I bought a new tree, a Japanese maple, and I dug a hole and added some of the super-high-powered dirt I create in my compost bin that makes me feel like a bona fide, groovy, all-natural, locally-grown-organic-food-buying, hemp-clothing-wearing nature nut and plopped that tree in the ground. It's a damn fine looking tree, if I do say so. And I do.
So I planted the tree, adding life to my world, and I tied to it a life that has passed. These things I did the day before my husband moved into an apartment, not entirely leaving our home, but embarking on something new that may not include the two of us living happily ever after in a holy state of matrimony. It is not what we had planned. But it can still be okay. Lives come to an end; whether it's a tree or a dog or a relationship, you don't really plan for it and it doesn't seem quite right if you did. But also new lives grow, not the same, maybe better, maybe not. I can't even take comfort in this fact because some endings are still incredibly sad and seemingly unfair. But stuff ends, just the same; lives, trees, good books, and seasons. And then there are new things. We keep going.