Solstice tree moment(lessness)

winter tree

Frost and the long low light of the winter solstice. The tree tells of the old stretching out into the new, entwined together as they must be, neither one nor other but both.

read my lips

The lips of the bark speak of beauty and pain. Neither one nor other but both, as they must be.


And the lichen on the bark says whoa, look at us! bright gold crinkled and crunkled like a landscape, like mud, like the moon! We too are not one, not other but both. Beautiful, omnipresent. There for the delighting in if you but see. And those craters that you’re staring at? they’re our genitals so stop being such a voyeur if you please.

Er, thanks, lichen! All very intercomingly.

At this crux, hinge or whatever one cares to call it, this moment when one traditionally looks back to the source, forward to the mouth, I found myself writing to a friend about the midstream, about that place called “the present” in which I have increasingly found refuge:

“A place where things matter as much as they matter and don’t spiral out of control, don’t tangle up the past and wrap their tentacles around the future. “Resignation” and “acceptance” give the wrong impression. It’s a far more active and joyful thing, I find. I appear to have become rather Pollyannaish. Although having just looked up the definition on Wikipedia expecting it to be slightly other than it was I find that it’s not a bad thing to be at all… it’s not optimism (which implies looking forward) such as gratitude in the here and now which is important.

“Which is not to say that it hasn’t been a challenging year if I look back, which one invariably does at this time. However so much has changed and there is so much to be thankful for. Chief of which is the love of friends.”

To all friends, both near and far, who read here and who don’t, serenity-love-gratitude-joy.

(The next Festival of the Trees will be hosted at yearendbeginning by Lorianne at Hoarded Ordinaries – still time to submit!)

12 Replies to “Solstice tree moment(lessness)”

  1. Amusing yet deep article, acceptance and gratitude seem to be something we learn with time. Thanks for the wishes and friendship, rr and all the best of everything you hope for to you too and a happy solstice!

  2. Great post! I love those arboreal lips.

    I think the best thing about living in the present is that it will give me something to be nostalgic about in the future.

  3. And the same sparkly shiny wishes to you, dear rrrrrr (pronounced in a rollicking French and Spanish way, followed by a bone-cracking, coffee-spilling hug).

  4. Wonderful post. I saw the images first on Flickr while browsing through my Flickr contacts. Lovely images, but so much better with the words, too. Merry Christmas, rr, and to continuing blessed presence in the new year.

  5. This post seems especially appropriate as I sit on an airplane surrounded by people who are only thinking of where they are going or where they have been. The airport was full of people slowly coming out of the holiday glaze perhaps remembering yesterday or thinking of what they are returning to today. Whenever the present makes itself known, it seems to be greeted with hostility. The present seems like an nusiance to those with plans. I too was preoccupied with my plans. When I arrive in Atlanta, how will I excuse myslf from work early so that I can have dinner with friends? Your post has prompted me to listen to the sounds of loading passenger and to notice the awful smell of the fried cheese snack being eaten by the person next to me- like moss and bad cheddar and dirty mazola oil. Thanks for the warm wishes which I return to you!

    Must turn the phone off now- sorry for any typos. I hate trying to type on this thing!

  6. Thank you all… hope you had a peaceful and enjoyable time. ho – are you really thanking me (or indeed holding me responsible for) what sounds like olfactory torture? I do apologise.

  7. oops.

    The thanks should have been in a seperate paragraph. The sentiment was not lessened by the odors of the moment. I was typing just as “All electronic devices should be turned off and stowed at this time” so I tried to end the message hastily.

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