Towering and thin and as tall as they grow their roots spread underground. I didn’t know that until recently. Do you ever learn something at just the right moment in time - or wake up and become aware that you’ve been taught something at just the right moment?
I’m like a palm tree.
I’m tall, thin. My roots, my life experience have spread out. I’m grounded.
I’m drought tolerant. But I can survive in muddy, brackish waters, too.
And, hey, have you ever see a palm tree bang around in the wind? Have you ever watched it sway in fifty mile an hour warm Santa Ana winds and wonder exactly which direction that sucker was going to fall?
And then it didn’t fall.
Yeah… Like me, too. I am blowing around in the wind right now. Winds are blowing hard from the West. Pushing me East.
But like a palm tree I will blow around but I won’t fall.
I’m going this way, then that way. And it’s life and stuff happens and oftentimes that stuff happens all at once. And in those treacherous times, just like the fronds of a mighty palm, torn with violence by a gale force wind, pieces of me are being ripped away. Torn from my torso. Ripped from my life, from my experience, from my love, from my heart, from all that I’ve known to be me. I am battered. I am bruised. For some reason God seems to think I’m ripe for these lessons right now and lo - there’s been a bit of a pile up. In full dramatic fashion I have fallen to my knees. I’ve begged for it to stop. I’ve asked for a reprieve - just to catch my breath. But…. the more I ask to be spared the more I seem to receive so I guess the lesson here is, as has been in so many other instances in my life, surrender. Stop fighting what is, accept it and get the hell on my way. You see, surrender is that lesson I must learn over and over again. We are given the lessons as many times as it takes until we learn it. I know this is my truth because if I really learned to let go of how I think things should be the first time out then maybe I wouldn’t be in the middle of all of this? And it is the middle. And there’s no going back, only forward. And wow, but I am a magnet for stuff…. I step out, I risk a little bit of my heart and it gets torn away, tossed carelessly into the wind. Marion… Learn. Surrender to what is.
Have you ever watched someone gasp their last breath?
For a short while I thought I, me, my presence, was the last gift for a dear friend… I know now - with unconditional clarity - I was the receiver of the most precious gift of all. I learned with a ferocious brutality just how fragile and temporary Life is. And we will all go, leave, pass, surrender one day. And what I learned recently, or more accurately, was reminded of is - I am unwilling and unavailable to ask for, expect and receive anything less than everything. We get one chance. I’m hedging my bets this is all leading somewhere. Pot meet lid…
And, yeah, sure, it hurts. And fuck if it ain’t all confusing.
I’m insecure. I’m lonely. I’m afraid. I’m proud. I’m vulnerable. All of the things that used to bring me joy feel different and distant and I cry when I work out. Like in a gym. With other people… strangers… all around me. Uhmmm. What the hell is that? Who is this person?
But, like the mighty palm tree I don’t stand alone. Palm trees aren’t solo. Palm trees come in clusters. I feel the strength in the love and the support of my dearest. I am blessed. I count those blessings. And - hey - did you know the tallest palm tree can grow almost 200 feet tall? Look out. This pain. This is growth! I’m growing…! I was big and mighty and giant to begin with - So, hang on to your goddamn hats. I’ll be bigger and better than ever!
For now… I’m tucking in. I feel as though I’m folding inside myself. I’m taking a breath. Glory be it is not my last. Not yet. This seed is germinating and soon will sprout forward with something bigger and better than even I could imagine. Things will work out. Right? They always do. Right? But for now, I sometimes find it difficult to talk. I’m always better writing it out. And these words scratch the surface. And I will lament that I shared these thoughts. It’s my style to be private, quiet - to share these thoughts and feelings with only a few and smile at everyone else. But the construct of who I am is forcing me to write it out. Whether there is a reader is not the point.
And still the wind blows.
But, the last part of the lesson is this - all those parts that were ripped away…. Well, they grow back. Stronger than ever.