my tree has no leaves

When I arrived at the Novitiate House in September, the tree outside my window was fully covered in green leaves ... even if they weren't the healthiest looking leaves.

As the weather cooled a bit, they began to turn a rusty orange, one by one. Some of the leaves seemed to change overnight. Others appeared to resist the change - one tip would stay green as the rest of the leaf was transformed.

Over the past few weeks, the leaves have been slowly falling off the tree, their job done. But as of yesterday, there was still a healty smattering of orange. Until last night ...

We had a window rattling storm last night. When I opened my blinds this morning, the first thing I noticed was my lovely view of the George Washington Bridge & the NYC skyline. But then I realized ... wait, I can't normally see that! I guess it's what they call a "winter view" - now that the leaves have gone to leaf heaven, I can see through the leafless branches. I suppose resistance is futile - whether the leaves were ready to go or not, they are gone.

Cliched as it may seem, I'm feeling a bit like my tree this morning. I came with lots of leaves - expectations, past history, hopes, fears, demons, etc... They weren't all the healthiest of leaves. One by one though my leaves began to transform. Two and 1/2 months into this experience, and I am not the same person. This is of course not to say there hasn't been, and doesn't continue to be, resistance to the change. Who will I be? How will I be? Only God knows the answers to those questions.

The transformation is by no means complete, it continues each day. At the moment it seems like my leaves have fallen and my branches are bare - the inner journey can feel that way at times. But that process also allows you to see beyond the trees. Winter is coming, but so is Spring and Summer and another Fall.


Anonymous said...

Hi! I found your blog through Julie's...it's lovely here. Nice to meet you :)

Susan said...

Tree at My Window
Poem lyrics of Tree at My Window by Robert Frost.
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

I thought you might like to read this, Susan.

will smama said...

Thanks for the post. I really appreciated the analogy.

The rain transformed our colorful mountains into their gray, winter formation. I find myself wistful for the color that is now lost.

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers! I really enjoy your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

"the voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, 'Glory!'" Ps. 29:4

I have a segment of that Psalm verse in the form of a sampler on my bedroom wall. I used to look forward to hearing the Benedictine monks chant it when I joined with them on retreat. I love the verse dearly and your blog entry reminded me of it.
Thank you for sharing through your blog.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. Have you checked out "Ask Sister Mary Martha?" It is very funny and worth a read. Good luck to you.

Steve Bogner said...

With any luck, in my opinion, the transformation never ends. There's always more, and we don't know what the future holds, and how it will change us.

My wife and I just got through with a walk at dusk; we live in the woods and it was beautiful to see how they had been transformed since a few months ago. In the spring/summer, they are lush and green, and in the fall/winter they are brown and wide-open Until it snows). And every year, something in them is different. Life is like that, I think - always changing, always something new.