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An Unexpected Request

years ago, i sat and listened to tulip poplar until my spirit was quiet and my heart felt full. as the light changed with the evening sun, i gathered my blanket and notebook and turned towards home, and that’s when she spoke.

tulip poplar had been quiet that evening. she and i were moving through a season where she often thought i wasn’t yet ready to hear what she had to say (and i wasn’t), and so much of our time together was spent with me anxiously asking to know and she patiently waiting to answer -- another time.

as i turned towards home, leaving her behind me, she spoke: tell our stories. her words were so clear and so unexpected. the sureness of them stopped me in my tracks. i turned to face her, and she spoke again: tell our stories.

melted with gratitude, i placed my hand over my heart and promised her i would. that evening i felt so broken, so lost, so alone, so unfit to tell my story much less the story of another, especially one so beautiful and wise. her request itself was medicine for my soul. in it, i heard her seeing me, knowing me, loving me, and considering me worthy of such a task at a time when i felt anything, anything at all, but worthy.

so here i am all these years later, and it’s time to tell the stories: her stories, my stories, our stories. this tree and i? we’re the same.


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