sugar maple

If you've found yourself here reading these words, welcome to trees: a series! This is 1 of 3 pieces I'll be sharing over the next three weeks. These words are inspired by two things: firstly, I've been praying for a heightened sense of curiosity lately, and as a result I've found myself attentively lost in thought on most days. Secondly, my time in college is drawing near its end; as chapters close, I tend to spend time reflecting and savoring the ways I've become who I am. And, all the photos you'll see come from days I've spent as a student at Clemson University, both at home and on trips. 

This piece in particular was mostly written on May 6, 2016, brought to life by the tree photographed at the bottom, 'Blue Skies' by Noah & the Whale, and time that preceded a summer of re:demption. Sad yet hopeful, like a good Sleeping at Last song. Ok enough intro: enjoy 'trees I'!

I drove the familiar route today. Reversed from the corner spot and chugged over the two speed-bumped hill like it'd been a lifelong ritual. A right turn, and there it stood tall. I had to squint, for the sun, but it was plain as day: the tree that's taught me all year long.

My careless mind has yet to determine its genus, its species. I know it stands thick at the root, flimsy branches spreading wide, casting shade and shadow. Now leaves are green, just as when I arrived. There's no trace of the orangey red explosion from November, nor the sudden barrenness that followed.

Those branches were bare for months. Birds began chirping, green returning left and right, save this tree. It stood tall, sinewy, and empty still. "All's made beautiful in its time," I'd whisper to myself as I passed, left empty by a figurative winter of my own, coinciding with the air's cold bite.

I passed by, eyes gazing out the window, marveling at the cycle. As if nothing had ever changed, as if the leaves had been there all along, prominent and bright and abundant.

Despite what appears, the tree's aged, weathered. As have I. This year's undoubtedly taken its lot and then some for the both of us. My chest tightens at the thought. I've lost grasp on what I thought I knew and so much is shattered. All the while, rubble's salvageable, leaves grow back.

'Once more, the darkness will leave this house. I will paint my poems blue with the color of our sky.' - Simin Behbahani

It's the stark contrast of You against the black, green after the grey, that beckon me forward. Forward where? Wish I had an answer, a map dot, an anything.

Reliance, dependence, trust.

I'll echo until doubt melts: I. Trust. You.

WWLT: Harbor and Home

L: 12/22/15, a day trip to Bluffton. Katie and I walked around Old Towne. It was overcast and warm for winter. We had nitro coffee and sat on the dock as birds flew overhead. 
C: 10/23/15, my favorite tree. It catches fire in the fall, and its leaves delay in spring's return. This tree (I've since looked up its genus!) is the inspiration behind the writing above.
R: 1/2/16, Rich Mtn. Brianna and I drove up an icy mountain to celebrate a new year. I remember standing on the fire tower, cold wind biting my face, thinking of H. D. Thoreau.