When I ask her how things are going her smile tells me first.
Last night I dreamed that I was back home…and I was so happy that I danced!
She chuckles at the thought and I hear hope sing.
But there’s another whose wife is weeping in the hall and I press hard on her shoulder. Hope is slowly slipping away and I can’t dream it back. We pray together and I go home.
And when I pull into the drive I see that the winds have split our Bradford Pear. The leafy top of her branches out into the yard—broken from her spine. I stand on the porch with my husband and look.
It was rotten underneath, he says. I think that tree would have stood up to the winds if it wasn’t for that bad place. You never would’ve known by looking at it. I thought that was a healthy tree.
I move closer. Look at the splintered wood…run my hand over that soft dark spot that weakened the limb.
How do I get rid of this weak inside—these rotten parts that cause me to fall apart? When hope is in splinters and nothing seems to go right and prayers seem to bounce off of empty walls?
The man mowing my elderly neighbor’s yard sees me looking and he crosses the street to stand at my side.
Do you need someone to haul that off, he asks with a gentle smile.
He must know about some people and trees. I swallow back the tears in my leaky eyes but all I can think of is the day that tree was planted. Me, just home from the hospital and a brand new babe in the crib. How I stood at the window and watched that tree go in the ground.
So much hope planted right there.
When Abraham claimed the land in Beersheba, he dug a well and Genesis 21:33 says, Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the Lord, the eternal God…
The tamarisk tree. A tree that spreads out over the years, providing much needed shade in that harsh region. The tree was his hope, planted for future generations. And my hope feels like this tree in front of me. Splintered.
Yeah, I tell the man. We need it hauled off. But the whole thing must come down. The bad place is too big.
It pains me to say it and he must know because he only nods and moves closer to the tree. He studies the dark brown place in the tree’s heart, rubs his hand gently over the soft bark. Then he turns to face me with that gentle smile.
What will you plant in her place?
My eyes meet his as the question falls over the tangle of bushy leaves on the ground. I raise my eyebrows. And for some reason, I think of my patient—her dream. I think of dancing.
Pin Oaks are nice, he says, still smiling.
And I know that hope is something that can be planted. Planted like a tamarisk tree. Or a Pin Oak. So I call on the name of the Lord, the Eternal One, and I take this tiny seed—this little helicopter of possibility—and I go looking for water.
And it makes me want to dance.
Blogging in community with Michelle and Jen today. Love you girls! ::
I’m a morning person and happiest in a place with no walls. Give me a bed of grass and a blanket-sky and I will dream deep in wonder. But a good story takes me to this place too. And a poem? Even better. You can always find me here. Or connect with me on on facebook, twitter, or pinterest.