Is It a Metaphor?*

The wind woke me up last night around 2am and then sneezing kept me up until around 4am. I realized around 3am the reason for the sneezing was that I’d forgotten to take my allergy meds. So I took them and a bonus Benadryl for good measure, and now I am awake and groggy and I have a headache that no amount of tea will fix.

I dreamed last night that the little (now pretty big) maple tree the squirrels planted at the site of the old chestnut tree–long gone before we bought the house–had cracked and split in the wind. I tried in the dream to be calm about the loss of this tree, but still felt an overwhelming sadness for the lost potential of a living thing when I woke up. A living thing we love because a squirrel can not be trusted to remember where it hides its snacks.

When the little sapling first popped up we considered pulling it out like we do with most of the squirrel trees, but then we decided to clear away the neighboring squirrel trees and see if this one would grow up big and strong. And it has, with little help from us. Occasionally I go out and prune some of the little branches, or clear away the weeds from around the trunk. Early on in its life the wind would push and tug on the trunk and I wondered if it would survive. The first few winters it was buried under big globs of snow but I think the wind and the weight of the snow made it stronger. And this morning when I looked out the window it was standing proud, still leafy and green, no worse for wear.

*There’s always a metaphor and this one is particularly heavy handed: what doesn’t knock you down makes you stronger.

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This is the squirrel tree last year around this time. The bright yellow one next to the bird bath.
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And here it is this year! Just hanging out in some beams of light.

 

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