Friday, June 18, 2010

#189: A Card From the Universe

Today I received two lovely cards from two lovely friends, one from Vermont, one from Corsica in Pennsyltucky. Here's the thing. They were the same exact card. Same day. Different states. different lives. It could be a cooincidence, but I am in "good omen" mode these days, so I'm sharing the text with you.

"The Oak Tree"
Oak Tree and Valley Fog, Tehachapi Mountains, California, 1989
Photograph by Gordon Osmundson, 1999
(A Message of Encouragement)

A mighty wind blew night and day,
It stole the oak tree's leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.

The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing, Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs and make me sway,
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth,
You'll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure,
But know I've found, with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew."

Something about this card made folks who don't know one another think of me. That's flattering and inspiring. I guess I'm the busted up tree. Cancer is the wind, that's for sure. And what about those roots? What's holding me into the soil of life when the whole world seems in the process of blowing away?

My friends, for one. People who drop by, or just drop a note. Voice mail messages and lovely little Halmark cards. My friends give me a reason to want to get out of bed.

My family. Mum and my sisters. My brothers in law. All the people, blood kin, love kin, and kinda kin who have known me for years and can put me in context the way no one else can.

My wife. She is my tap root, my touch stone, and my heart. Tear my trunk up out of the ground and throw me in the chipper, my deepest last fiber will still be wrapped up around the beautiful Mrs P.

And beyond even that, beyond the place where there are any roots at all, below where the earth itself bears the faintest footprint of my passing, there is God. Whom I knew in my mother's womb. Whose prayers I learned kneeling beside my grandfather. Whom I have blessed and cursed and loved and hated and blamed and thanked for every damn thing that has ever happened to me in my whole life. God may make me crazy, but God will never let me go.

Thanks for the reminder, y'all. There are parts of Pennsy not even cancer can blow away.

1 comment:

  1. The miraculous card that was sent to you from two distant points in life and time is encouraging. Yes, we need our tap roots but cancer is but a passing wind that may do some damage but can never touch the core of who we are.

    Thanks for caring enough to share and remind.



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