Quiet losses

Somehow over the long winter a year ago, my favorite tree died. I loved this tree in particular because of the way one of its branches spread in a curving arc outward, reaching toward me from above like a benediction. I loved the sound of its whispering leaves and the songs of the birds it sheltered. But I guess I’d begun to take its blessing for granted, because I didn’t realize its life had gone until late that summer when every other tree had finally filled out with their lush green leaves and this beautiful tree remained barren. It stands there now with only a few thoroughly dried brown leaves still clinging to its desiccated limbs, a skeleton left unburied.

One day in another winter’s storm it may fall, eventually to be overgrown by vines and shrubs like a greening shroud, but for now it stands stark and naked against the life around it. I still feel a pang of grief when I look at it. I miss the gentle sense of blessing it gave me.

This may be how some things end in our lives: unnoticed at first, then startling, then sad, with a feeling of loss that lingers in memory.  

Our Lady of Paris

white concrete building
Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

Last night I watched on television the Notre Dame Cathedral being engulfed in flames and was overcome with a deep sadness.  I live in America, many thousands of miles away. I’d seen the Cathedral “in person” only once, on a trip to Paris in the 1970’s, but watching that extraordinary building burn yesterday I felt the loss personally. I was a little surprised by the depth of my feelings, to be frank. Continue reading “Our Lady of Paris”