The Beauty of Choice

The Beauty of Choice

I cried a little today. A good friend of mine is no longer around. My friend and I spent hours in each other’s company.


Just being.

No conversation needed.

We just got each other. 


My friend had the most amazing aura. It was beautiful. Huge and sparkly like shimmering glitter in the sunlight. I could stare at it for hours. It was warm and nurturing and loving. 


My friend was a tree. A huge Cypress tree that had lived in my yard for years. It had lived there long before I did. It had spread its roots all across the yard and into the septic lines. It had to be cut down. I was upset. Having to make this decision wasn’t easy, but it needed to be done.


There are many different types of Cypress trees. Mine was a Bald Cypress. Bald Cypress trees form vertical roots that grow up from the ground and resemble knees sticking up. It was these knees that were in the septic lines.


 Cypress Knees


There isn't much known about why Bald Cypress trees create knees. The best assumption has to do with stability, being that they normally grow in muddy, swamp-like areas. These trees can be really huge, growing from about 35 feet to 120 feet tall, with trunks that can reach up to 6 feet in diameter. They are large, slow-growing giants that can live very long lives. The oldest known living Bald Cypress tree is at least 2,624 years old.  


 Cypress trees growing in a swamp


I wanted to tell my friend that it was going to be cut down. That’s the least I could do. Tell my tree exactly what the plan was, so nothing came as a surprise.


But it was me who was surprised.


As I looked at my tree, it had no leaves on it. It was a bunch of bare branches, still waiting for that renewal of spring, when it would grow feathery soft leaves that filled my yard with vibrant green and lots of shade. My tree was dormant. Like really dormant. The energy that typically embodied my tree was gone.


Cypress with no leaves


No aura.

No energy.

No nothing. 


I called to it, trying to find my friend, wanting to explain my choices.


What I found, instead, was the energy that normally resided in my tree, freely expanding all around me, whispering in my mind. It told me not to feel bad. It would go on. Just not in the tree. It hasn’t been in the tree for months. Dormant really was dormant. The energy that normally was in my tree took a break. Breaking away from the physical vessel holding it, grounding it to the earth.


My tree's energy rejuvenates itself, becoming its full energetic size and exploring other aspects of itself during this dormant phase. A much needed break, my tree expressed. One that it looked forward to each winter. Now, that energy will move on to other experiences.


Dry your tears, it told me.

Rejoice for what I now choose to become.


I still feel sad that our friendship has changed, but I will always cherish the moments we had together. The shade that it provided me on very hot summer days. The woody smell of its branches. The feathery tickles of its soft leaves. The vibrancy of its aura, radiating outward into the sky creating a show of moving glitter.


My landscape has changed, but the love in my heart hasn’t. I feel comfortable with my choice, knowing my tree understood. My tears might continue to fall, sad for what was, but I look forward to what my tree will choose next.


Because without choice, we have nothing.


 Cypress Tree



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