The Oak Beckons

 It had been such a fierce, cold and challenging Winter…snow, ice, frigid pummeling winds. A deep white blanket, frozen and crystalline, covered everything on the ground, taking down branches and limbs, making it almost impossible to walk safely…at least on my little unpaved road.. and making a good excuse to nestle into the comfortable corner of the couch during the dark days, journaling, reading, writing and giving in to the fanciful meanderings of imagination.

On days when the road was passable, driving over to the community library to gather new treasures and stories for company and amusement brightened the unusual confining circumstances of this winter’s harshness. And each time I drove into the lot, it seemed that the only parking spot waiting just for me, was in front of a slim solitary oak, whose welcoming open-armed limbs were still decorated with dried bright orange leaves, most determinedly still clinging to several of the branches. What a joyful, colorful, playful presentation of persistence and strength, those pfeisty leaves, holding on by the thinnest of little stems, and dancing wildly in the fiercest winds that often tore off whole branches!

I am not sure exactly why I was so drawn to this tree, but not once did I enter its Presence without being compelled to stop and look at it deeply, listening attentively as if it was offering to me some sort of secret communication about how to be in this frozen grey, white and brown landscape of Winter.

For sure, it was partially the brightness of the vibrant orange leaves, orange being the color of Wisdom and Wild Creativity, but the more I looked, the more I seemed to sense an invitation to come closer and closer, to look more deeply into the textures, shapes, patterns and the decorative designs of the living wood. And what I also saw then, was not only the beauty, but the woundedness of this tree, where a limb had been purposely cut off, most likely because it reached straight out into the parking lot in the way of incoming cars.

What of this wound, now healed but not an eyesore.. rather, a unique thing of beauty in itself…a mysterious portal, like an arched temple door partially closed over, but yet with the tiniest invitational opening to the depths of the Sanctuary within the tree. What was it that captivated my imagination here and drew my eyes to narrow into a deep-seeing gaze in order to understand something hidden, something new?

And so the Oak, hearing my silent question, wordlessly beckoned:

“Come closer, past the height of me, past my orange leafy twigs, and ponder this wound, this portal…how it came to be, how the Life Force healed me, how I came to claim it and its nobility, how it has become a new story of me, and how it continues to give life, shelter and meaning to others”.

And then, did I do just that, in a series of closer steps and gazes to learn and practice the Secrets of Deep Seeing….into the tree, and into myself…                                                                                                              (to be con’t in Part 2  “The Knothole”)  

Christine Phoenix-Green (March 2011)                                                             

"Come Closer"


*Secrets of Deep Seeing  (Part 2) will follow shortly                    

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