The trees of Virginia’s
horse-country stand on its rolling hills undulating like the waves of
a sheet being shaken out over a bed in the making.
Old and gently treated by the weather full as it is of rain, mist and sunlight; trees here stand with a majesty, ancient-of-days, like wise professors at Hogwarts – full of knowledge and not a few spells, with wands at the ready but stiff with an unwillingness to react too quickly. Decide what you curse carefully.
Trees here are not afraid of the darkness on which they sit. They do not crack rocks on their drive deep for water like they do in Colorado mountains.
Tree roots in Virginia meander, aware that a rock or stone is doing what it needs to do, is placed where it needs to be placed. So the root, alive like a snake if time were sped up by a time-spell, wanders in dark soil amid death-decomposing life and sparkling quartz-flakes seeking the pathway, not of least resistance, but of most water – most food.
We humans may take an ironic page from the life of a tree.
We may reconsider the stones in our lives. Stop labeling them as barriers and rather, embrace them as guides. “Go around me.” Says the stone. “Go deeper; but left or right.” “I, the stone before your path, am not your enemy. I am, rather, your guide to better water, and better nutrients.”
We humans were made in darkness. Conceived, more often than not, in darkness. Embryo-ed in darkness-floating. And born through a dark passage way.
So we avoid stones and darkness at our peril, for they both have things to teach us as does darkness. Both have detour signs which lead to a better route.
We all find stones in our pathways as we live.
Marriages face boulders.
Vocations face boulders. Friendships face boulders.
Strategies face boulders.
Even nations and churches face boulders.
I feel old, like the trees look. Stiff. Tall.
I am less inclined to break boulders with the roots my life is busy putting down.
I am content to wait, let my roots find their new ways and leave the boulder to play its role in holding the soil in place.
And the irony is that the boulder’s job, the rock’s job, the pebble’s job are all half of that of a root – to hold soil. So we must meet gently, root and rock in darkness. Bow to each other and swing each other ‘round our blind way.
The root nudges the rock a bit as it goes by. The rock nudges the root in a new direction. Neither apologizes in the darknesses.