Let me introduce my daughter Lori, the poet and ‘real’ writer among the Frye clan.
Eugene H. Peterson writes, “We get ourselves ready to pray by looking at a tree…and seeing ourselves in it….Comprehension of the invisible begins in the visible. The deepest relationship of which we are capable has its origin in the everyday experience of taking a good look at what is in everybody’s backyard. We are not launched into prayer by making ourselves more heavenly, but by immersing ourselves in the earthy: not formulating abstractions such as goodness, beauty, or even God, but by attending to trees and tree toads, mountains and mosquitoes. We come to the prayer book of the Bible to get training in prayer and the first directive is: ‘Go find yourself a tree, sit down in front of it, look at it long and thoughtfully’…Beautiful ideas are the enemy of prayer” (Answering God, 27).
So, Lori recently crafted musings about a tree that she sees out her apartment window. With her permission, I share them with you…
As I look at the tree before me I somehow see that it resembles me or my life. To me it is mine, but it could be yours or anyone’s. The trunk is large, very strong. As I look up, the tree starts to branch out, 4 or 5 maybe 6 strong branches. To me they resemble the important people in my life. The people around as I was growing up and into who I am, molding and shaping me. From there I glance toward the sky, the branches appear lighter and greater in number, possible events that have occurred in my life, or mistakes that I have made. I begin to think about my life as I examine this tree. A tree that now will bloom in the Spring. A tree that may show no sign of life now but will soon have leaves alone and blowing in the wind. Leaves that soon will fall and yet again be barren. In this tree, a constant reminder everytime I step outside that I, too, will once again blossom. It may not be the best analogy, but if this can bring hope then I believe it is a true example of Life. I never even touched on the roots.
I think a good title for Lori’s insights is “This Tree,” a phrase she uses twice. And I love the O’Henry ending: “I never even touched on the roots.” Classic.
I think Eugene Peterson would stand and applaud after hearing Lori read her reflections.
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