On Roots and Shoots

I would like to know how a tree feels,

to be rooted all the time.

For my roots grow deep, strong and sure,

and then seem to dissolve with one small

look. or word. or loneliness.

I loll about, then, seemingly untethered,

slogging through days or weeks, of alternately

looking around every corner for what I have lost,

and desperately curling inward, terrified of the light.

Even so, with each new inch of root I gain,


I find them to still be there, waiting for me.

Not an apparition, perhaps,

simply numb.

But there, all along.

Still, I would like to know how a tree feels.

Anyone else know how this feels? I’ve been going through this season again. Parts of myself feeling numb, wondering if they’re gone forever. There are lots of reasons for this – good ones too, but I can’t help and wish for the internal spring to come back. Like, yesterday. I’m tired of these swirling winds and never ending snow. When you’re in a time of spring it feels effortless – there are flowers popping up everywhere and you’re surprised and delighted by how lovely the world is at every turn. The air smells like magic and the sun is actually…..visible.

If you’re in this season – one where you wonder which way is up and how you got here – know that you’re not alone. We all feel that at times, and most of us more often than we admit. As I think about winter, it helps me to remember two things – it will end, and it has a job to do. The winter of our souls is the same. One day we will find a sunny spot to curl up in, with crocuses growing nearby and we will marvel at how beautiful everything is. And we’ll remember the winter and how it strengthened us, how it was a place of rest (if we let it be) and how we will be there again someday. Then we can enjoy those new shoots of growth as we dig our roots a little deeper, snuggling in to the earth of our lives.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier

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