“Love is everything….A platitude is precisely what is left of a truth after it has been drained of all emotion. To resaturate that dried husk with feeling is to see it again for what it is: the loveliest and most deeply rooted of all truths, hidden in plain sight….our senses…are liable at any time to astonish us with news of the sheer wonder of the world.” ~ Michael Pollan
My grandson is climbing a tree!
An ornamental bush, really, highly pruned
to the coincidentally exact
specifications of a small climber.
His foot fits into the ledge
of a cut and then upward onto a perch.
Reaching high to grasp limbs on both sides
he is delighted by a shower of drops
from the recent rain. He jiggles again
and listens and feels the waterfall
joy radiating. Such a passionate being
seized by the desire to vibrate.
I remind him to be gentle
with the living tree, and more,
to thank the tree
for holding him. He flashes that
mischievous toddler’s grin — surely
the root of all double-dog dares —
and shakes so hard that he loses
his footing and lands, surprised
on the ground. Not even six inches,
so a minor fall, but the timing of my
warning has convinced him
that the tree’s strong boundaries
around rough stuff had ended their embrace.
Or perhaps his grandmother’s gift
of prophesy has again been confirmed.
He journeys back through the secret
pathway he has created to approach
the only tree he can climb here.
The tree remembers you, I say.
I have taught him to hug
huge old trees, and that listening to
and respecting the beings who do not engage
in human talk is an essential part
of loving. I am only now learning
through him that I belong here.
I am alive and my voice is unique
and needed. I’m letting go of all the survival
tactics that made me question whether
or not I really was the weird one, the knowing
that I didn’t fit in, and that I must change
my basic nature. I am here,
I am open, I am available,
and love is everything.